Ray Barbee is not only one of the most influential street skateboarders in history, he's an amazing photographer, musician, and creative thinker, as well as one of the most frequently requested guests I get from fans of the show. As a young kid growing up in the 80's in San Jose, CA, Ray was introduced to skateboarding during the heyday of backyard ramps and the vert skating kings that had ruled the era. But before long, street skating started to take hold and Ray found a more accessible form of skateboarding that he and his friends felt they could mold with their own style. Ray was quickly noticed by one of the biggest names in the business and joined the legendary Powell Peralta team and started working closely with Stacy Peralta and some of his skateboard heroes. The rest is history, and he would go on to to have an amazing career as a professional skater that continues to this day. During those years of traveling the globe, Ray realized he was missing an opportunity to capture the life he was living and embraced the craft of photography, spurred on by so many of his photographer friends he knew through the skate world. During our conversation we talk about what it was like to tour the world as a professional skateboarder, his early influences in photography, what made him embrace the Leica M6 and black and white film, what it's been like having a relationship with such a legendary camera brand, and the advice he gives to others who yearn for a more creative existence.
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