Julian Furones, born in Leon/ Spain is a man with two natural gifts - skateboarding and photography. We "met" on Skype to talk about changes in life, skateboarding, Hamburg and photography. Enjoy!
You moved to Hamburg/ Germany some years ago. What was the reason to leave Barcelona after living there for a long time?
I think i got tired of blue sky and a needed some grey sky and rainy days. For real ,i wanted to leave Barcelona a long time ago to see something new. New country, new experiences and Hamburg is a beautiful city for me, i have good friends there and of course there was an old love, it was… And i was free to do what i want and i needed a job. Then i got offered a job in Hamburg and i thought: why not. Now i miss the blue sky, but i go back sometimes to Barcelona. I still have my flat there.
Barcelona is perfect for skateboarding. How did your skateboarding change in Hamburg? More skate parks or still street skateboarding?
Before i moved i was already not skating that much for a year. More or less. Somehow the skate life was boring for me. Been on tours a lot got me tired of been with skateboarders all day. I just wanted to discover the cities alone. But of course we had good times and i miss these tours. When i moved to Hamburg, i started with the new job straight away. After 10 years without any schedules. The last job i had was being a cook at an Italian restaurant when i moved from Leon to Barcelona. Then i got paid for skateboarding and i quit the job and traveled for the next years. So from one day to another i had to work again and it took a bit to get into that daily routine. But to be honest, i didn’t skate much the last two years in Hamburg. I only skate few times a year and only for fun. Don’t get me wrong, before i skated also for fun, but now i only skate when the weather is nice and you know Hamburg… The weather is not that often nice in Hamburg. Well here i explain more the reason why i don’t skate that much anymore.
Wow, that’s pretty honest. So your sponsors know about it and you are not getting in trouble when we write it down?
No, i’m not getting paid anymore for skateboarding, but i’m really happy that i still get support from Carhartt WIP and i was honest with my sponsors like Antiz for example. I got paid by Antiz and i told them that they should stop giving me money because i don’t wanna get money when i’m not skating. Give that money to another rider.
OK, that’s fair enough. Last time we met was last summer for your exhibition „Triangle Walks“. During that time you moved to a new flat. Are you still living and working there and do you still feel fine there?
Yes, it’s ok and the neighborhood is really nice. I have friends in the same street. The flat is a small studio, i called it the cave, but i miss my terraces close to the beach in Badalona. And sometimes i like to be alone.
But the longer you live there, the more people you know.
Yeah, alone with everybody…
Let’s talk about photography. A while ago Leica got in touch with you. Tell us about it?
Well… Fred Mortagne (French Fred) introduced me to the people from Leica. He told them about me and my photography and they contacted me here in Hamburg. I was really surprised, because i like Leica and since i got my first Leica, i’m using it always. At that meeting they offered me to use a digital camera for some time.
Usually you are into analog photography, right?
Yes, but they asked me if i want to use one of their cameras – I tried the Leica M Monochrome - a digital camera that only takes black and white photos. It was really interesting to use this amazing camera. I also tried the M9 in color. I think i didn't shoot enough photos with this amazing cameras, but for me it was more important to meet the people at Leica. Sometimes i go to talks and i have the opportunity to meet great photographers.
Sounds great. Can you tell us something about your own equipment?
You know, in the end a camera is only a tool, a beautiful tool. I have a small Leica, it’s called Leica CL. I like it, because it’s really small and silent. Size matters here. I use Kodak and Ilford films. Most the time i’m using Ilford, because the film is thicker and for me it’s easier to develop it at home. So usually i’m using an Ilford HP 5 Iso 400 and push it to iso 1600.
Your photos are so called street photography. Did you ever shot skateboarding?
I never was into skateboard photography. I mean… to shoot skateboarding, but of course i like to see skate photography. I don’t know if my photography is called street photography. I always carry my camera and i take photos in the streets or from whatever happens in my private life.
Last question. What are your plans with photography? Any exhibitions planed?
I just want to keep memories on film, but yes, when there are photos that look nice, i want to show it to people. This year i have some expos coming and maybe something more. It depends on if i have something to show, but i’m so bad at self promotion.
Thanks Julian for your time and all the best for your plans!