Carles Carabi Escapes to Bali with MalaMadre
MalaMadre was created as a custom motorcycle brand in Bali out of necessity. Dirk Goetz wanted to ride something more robust than a scooter over the roads of Indonesia so he found a 2002 Suzuki Thunder 250cc and fixed it up with customizations in his friend’s garage. That bike caught the eye of a new customer, and the whole thing snowballed over the last two years into a bustling business of creating bespoke bikes from some of the most respected names in the industry. Carles Carabi heard about the company through a friend of his that was a MalaMadre customer and he had an idea. “I told him that I wanted to go to Bali and shoot the bikes,” says Carles. “We offered a brief to the guys from Malamadre and they loved it and they invited me to Bali to go there so we flew there and we did a photoshoot!” Everything came together naturally, but once they got to Bali things worked a little less smoothly. Mainly because of the weather.
Carles knew that the blockbuster images would come from a beachside shoot, but a couple elements had to hit together all at the same time. They needed it to be low tide so there was plenty of wet sand, they needed the sun to be setting to get the right kind of light, and, of course, it couldn’t be raining. “It was raining every day, so we always had difficulties shooting during the sunset because it was raining every day at that time,” says Carles. “The low tide wasn’t every day at the time of the sunset so depending on the day there wasn’t a beach we could go with the bikes,” but it all came together in the last possible moment. “The day before I left was the last chance we had to shoot it.,” Carles explains. They only had an hour to make it work and were never going to be able to come back and try again. They planned out the whole hour just to be safe, but when they started working, instinct took over and they just had fun. “We tried to make a plan, because there were three bikes, but as soon as they were riding they forgot about everything and they were just riding it was kind of crazy.”
Carles also got some phenomenal shots of the bikes being ridden on the long roads through Indonesia, buffeted by the tropical forests. Capturing these images was tricky because Carles had to strap himself to the back of a scooter that his friend drove into oncoming traffic. But they got what they needed. “It was risky, not very scary, but it was risky,” Carles explains. “The roads were open so there was traffic all the time. To shoot them we needed to be riding on the wrong side of the road, so every time a car was coming we had to cross the line, and go back and forth like that all the time. It was a bit of adrenaline.”