Charly G gets us excited about the upcoming IGSA tour in South America and he tells us all about how he became hooked on photographing downhill skateboarding.
Hey Carlos, where are you from?
I am from Mendoza, Argentina.
When did your son start skating?
Almost two years ago. My son always told me he wanted to practice longboarding, then one day I accompanied him. That day I took my camera and started my love affair with longboarding. Rafael, my son, is 11 years old and almost always accompanies me to take the photos in competitions. Together we enjoy being a part of the community.
How did you get into it?
I’ve always dabbled in different branches of photography, especially nature. I always liked bird photography. I love taking pictures of natural phenomena, like storms. Since I found myself in the longboard scene I haven’t been able to leave it. It is my passion now. Over time I was making many friends at skate events. I’ve enjoyed good times travelling with the riders.
Who are the best friends you’ve made through skating?
I have made many friends. It is unfair to name a few. When I go to races I receive a warm welcome and everyone makes me feel very comfortable. Longboarding in South America is great and we all know and help each other.
What’s the scene in Mendoza like?
In Mendoza and Argentina, it’s growing a lot. There are many young skaters in Mendoza. There is a meeting place called La Vizcachera. But there are also other places to skate like Cerro de la Gloria. In Argentina, there are many places and races every month. Many people practice longboarding in my country.
What do you enjoy about skate photography?
I love capturing the picture of the movement. I have found a place in the community where I am very comfortable. I enjoy photographing the sport and following the fun to different places. I also write articles related to longboarding.
How does skate photography differ from other branches?
I came from a background of nature photography. I’ve always liked to portray the movement of nature, fine-tuning my style of photography through experience. I practiced almost every type of photography out there such as landscape, studio models, macro photography, etc. But I feel more in-tune with the design of motion and nature. This combination really brings out the enjoyment in the photography of extreme sports.
Who organises events in your city?
Different people. The riders of the Mendoza province in Argentina are the backbone. They make up the formal organization which allows harmonized race schedules, rider rank, etc.
What is the organisation called?
The organisation is still in the young, growing stage. There are other organisations in the provinces of San Luis and La Rioja that are more established.
What is your role in the organisation?
I am the photographer and I also write articles on the website www.rocknboard.com for their extreme sports section. Argentina is rich with skaters and is a very popular location for (longboarding), mirroring the exponential growth of the sport in other parts of South America. The website includes exclusive information of the shenanigans in the area alongside heart-to-heart conversations with the riders. You can find a portfolio of my photography on my facebook page: Charlie G Photography. You should check it out! It’s updated with photos of the riders and the community.
What is rocknboards role in the community?
Rocknboard is an internet publication developed for updates on longboarding, music, bikes, urban art and urban sport. It also includes a page for the local skateboard riders with different disciplines. They organise art events and competitions; it’s updated daily and has a growing audience. The RNB motto is “The important thing is to move away from the ground” and value friendship.
Which riders organise races in Mendoza?
The races are organised by riders who no longer compete. They are Beto Gomez and Rod Ramone. Some other riders also help like Markitos Vazquez, Luis Vinassa, Franco Santillan, Pela Pechar, Nano Tobar, Lucas Falcioni, Cristian Viscaya. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone! Hopefully, the organisation will mature into an official longboard association responsible for organising all the races.
What kind of skating do you enjoy photographing most?
I enjoy photographing the intense sport of Downhill Longboarding, an awesome activity filled with adrenaline which takes place in the most beautiful locations.
What do you enjoy about photographing downhill?
It encompasses an open area activity with nature. Before every race, I learn about the track, their most dangerous locations, and the sections with the most speed. After the race, I always start with the riders and come walk from the top to the finish. I debate between the areas with crashes and areas with the best lighting. In between the races, I enjoy just sitting back and relaxing in the scenery around me. When the race finishes, I’m always at the finish line, because it is where most of the important shots are taken.
Where is your favourite location to shoot in Argentina?
So far it is Snake Skeleton, located in the province of San Luis. It is annually held in October, the next upcoming IGSA World Cup race. The second best course is Pampa de la Viuda, in the province of La Rioja, another breathtaking area.
This year, if all goes well, I could possibly cover the IGSA World Cup at Teutonia as well, the mythical track you must know, unless you live under a rock.
Do you have any favourite riders?
My favorite riders are Mischo Erban and Patrick Switzer. I also admire two young men from Brazil that little by little are growing on the circuit: Danky Ovalhe and Thiago Gomes Lessa. The rider with the best prospects in Argentina is Cristian Bovetti, who is 16 years old. Also Lucas Falcioni, Pela Pechar, Juan Stabbio, Juan Guevara, Agustin Virgolini, Andres Privittera, Marcos Vazquez, Seba Alfonso, Santiago Gonzalez, Nicolás Conejero and Gabi Urzay.
I want to mention riders of the region: Diego Alemparte and Victor Santander (Chile), Felipe Málaga, Gustavo Paredes, Andres Canale (Peru) and Juliano Cassemiro (Brasil).
The DH longboard is a sport in full blast in South America. The ones I’ve named have begun participating on the international circuit of the IGSA.
Have you photographed any IGSA events before?
Last year, the Sudameria IGSA circuit in Chacahhills, in Chile.
What is your weapon of choice?
I am using the Nikon D7000, and I have many lenses because I like to vary the shots. All lenses have their charm. For competitions , I use light lenses because they always end in low light and need speed shooting.
Then I play with all focal lengths. I consider each picture as a work of art, unique and unrepeatable and I spend a lot of time editing each one.
Where is your favourite place to shoot outside Argentina?
I have traveled to Europe and the U.S. as a tourist. I would like to travel in the future as a photographer. This year, I will try to be in Teutonia, one of the temples of Longboard, in November.
How was last season for you?
Incredible, I’ve grown a lot. I have many expectations for the future.
What events did you attend?
This year we have not had many events. I was in the race for the Pampa de la Viuda in La Rioja (http://issuu.com/longwaymag/docs/pdlv01). Next week is the race Long Fast in Mendoza (http://www.rocknboard.com/longboard/long-fast-challao-las-heras-torneo-downhill-mendoza.html ), where I will be. I was in Buenos Aires and San Luis knowing tracks and riders. But every week I go to the places where skating in Mendoza.
What did you enjoy most?
Travel, photograph and making friends.
What are your plans for this season?
Keep traveling and doing what I love: the motion picture.
Where would you like to be in 3 years as a longboard photogrpaher?
I would like to continue as I am. Perhaps at that time, have much more experience in this sport. But life has taught me that you have to enjoy the moment. I am grateful for all I can do today.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-39.
7- 14 – 21
7 – What is your favourite meal?
Seafood, steak and fries
14 – If you could have any super power what would it be?
I heal the sick. Without health nothing can be done.
21- If every job paid the same amount, what would you do?
Undoubtedly Photographer. I love this.
It’s been really really fun getting to know you bro, I look forward to sharing your photos during the South American series!
Thanks for your interest in what I do. Continue to share a love of photography and Longboard and we will show how it develops in this part of the world.
Any thank yous?
To my close people who support me in what I do. To friend photographers Pablo and Fabian, with which we travel and sharing knowledge. And the people who gave me the opportunity to be in this, especially to Rodrigo Sevilla.
edited by Possala Wang