Photographer Erik Groß picked up a skateboard long before he took his first photo. But the two hobbies became intertwined five years ago when he looked through the viewfinder of an old-school manual Nikon and liked what he saw.

Dresden, Germany, from the series DIY Skateboarding: Trini. | (Erik Groß)

Indonesia, from the series Journey of the Beasts. | (Erik Groß)

Dresden, Germany, from the series DIY Skateboarding: Trini. | (Erik Groß)

Now, his camera goes where he goes, capturing every trick his friends perform in makeshift skate parks across Dresden and abroad. "It's like a diary for me," Groß said.

The photos from his most cherished series, The Journey of the Beasts, are of a trip he and his friends took to Indonesia in search of new terrain. "The main goal was to skate somewhere where people don't know skateboarding and to skate spots [that] no one skated before," he said.

Groß and his crew use that sense of wanderlust and discovery to their advantage on their home turf as well. When an old skate park in Dresden was demolished for a shopping center that never panned out, Groß and his friends' saw potential in the flat, abandoned landscape. "We decided to build a new park, how we wanted it," he said. A new skate park and photography project — DIY Skateboarding: Trini — were born. "We don’t know much about building concrete ramps, so it's kind of rough to skate, but we love it." The park's landscape changes every year, as old obstacles are torn down and new ones erected. "It's pure and raw skateboarding there," said Groß.

Dresden, Germany, from the series DIY Skateboarding: Trini. | (Erik Groß)

Dresden, Germany, from the series DIY Skateboarding: Trini. | (Erik Groß)

Indonesia, from the series Journey of the Beasts. | (Erik Groß)

Since that first encounter with the Nikon, Groß has almost exclusively shot with manual cameras. "I love the whole process of shooting on film and developing it myself at home," he said. The resulting texture gives his work a gritty feel befitting his band of daredevil athletes.

Over the years, as the two hobbies feed each other, Groß has found a curious commonality between skateboarding and film photography — they both require a level of trust in your gut and your talent. "But that's what I like about film photography — it's surprising," Groß said.

Indonesia, from the series Journey of the Beasts. | (Erik Groß)

Dresden, Germany, from the series DIY Skateboarding: Trini. | (Erik Groß)

Dresden, Germany, from the series DIY Skateboarding: Trini. | (Erik Groß)

**See more of Erik Groß's work on his website, and follow him on Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.**