Interview with Water Sports Photographer Álvaro Rodríguez
In this post, we interview one of our Peli Pro team member, Álvaro Rodríguez, an avid water sports and extreme sports fan as, of course, professional photographer.
Peli: Could you tell us a little bit about your career since your beginnings as a photographer of extreme sports such as surfing, kitesurfing, and downhill biking?
AR: When I was 16 years old, I started making videos every time I went on holidays with my friends, which encouraged me to enter the audio-visual industry and gradually deepen into this creative world.
A few years later, I managed to start working on my first audio-visual projects on a professional level, at the same time that I started to get some training to become a professional photographer.
Since the very beginning I was certain that I wanted to focus on outdoor, sea or mountain photography. My goal was to be a photographer that while working could enjoy his passions (surfing, extreme sports, etcetera).
Peli: Sports photography is one of the biggest challenges for photographers because they are usually at high distance and the subject is constantly moving. What equipment do you use to capture these dynamic moments and what advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in this discipline?
AR: I have been using a Sony A7r III for 2 years now because it’s very versatile in terms of speed and resolution. Thankfully, my equipment allows me to shoot bursts from a very high distance and with an unbelievable resolution.
In terms of camera lenses, I love to shoot with prime zooms like the 24-70 and the 70-200 f/2.8. I think that these are very versatile lenses for sports photography because they cover a lot of focal range while they reduce a lot the weight of the setup in the case, which is crucial for us.
I also use a drone DJI FPV branded. The particularity of this drone is that it provides all the advantages of a FPV with a very good image quality which, despite not being the best, allows you to do incredible things.
As for external gear, I use external monitors, like the Atomos, and DJI Stabilizers, like the Ronin.
I strongly advice those people willing to start a career as photographers to be patient and to try to specialize in a certain discipline so that they can become recognized within the industry. At the end of the day, photography is a very wide art in which each professional can differentiate him/herself from the rest and create his/her own brand.
Peli: Besides being a photographer, you also produce films and documentaries showcasing professional athletes that practice different disciplines, such as Ronaldinho, Pol Tarrés or Dakota Schuetz. What discipline do you enjoy filming the most?
AR: I have been lucky enough to collaborate with brands that have allowed me to work with athletes like the ones mentioned, and the truth is that these experiences have been very enriching: I have been able to learn a lot about how to manage and develop myself in this type of unusual situations. I would do it over and over again.
I am always open to new opportunities and I make the most of them, even if that implies not working in my preferred disciplines. I think we can always learn something from every experience.
But if I have to prioritise a certain discipline, that is for sure sea sports photography, and more specifically surfing and kitesurfing photography.
Peli: What is the most remarkable project you have worked on? Are you currently working on any project that you could tell us about?
AR: Mhh... I don't think there's any specific project that is a point of reference for me; I actually think that I take good learnings from all of them, and that's why every new project has better outcomes than the previous one.
Of course there are projects that I like more than others, but I wouldn't know which one to choose as my favourite. However, I am very happy to collaborate with kitesurfing brands and to be able to carry out projects for new products in the future.
Peli: Which PELI products do you use in your personal/professional life and why are they useful?
AR: Peli has really changed the way I organise my trips. The star product for me is the Peli Air 1535 Carry On Case. It's my go-to Peli everywhere I go. It's just the perfect fit: it doesn't need to be checked-in when I travel by plane thanks to its size; it has wheels; it is lightweight and resistant to all sort of weather conditions.
As a person who travels often, the other two products that I love are Micro Cases and Ruck cases because they are very suitable for storing all the gadgets that I will be using during the trip (hard drives, memory cards, headphones...).
Peli products are very safe and resistant, and that for me is their most remarkable feature.