Carles Carabi Dives Right In
On any given week, Carles Carabi is photographing soccer stars for ESPN, yogis for adidas, or explosive imagery for Budweiser. These projects make for incredible imagery but there’s more for Carles to explore. “Diving is a beautiful sport, I always liked it and I always watch it on TV during the Olympics,” says Carles. “They pose well in the air, there’s action, there’s movement, and it’s easy to compose. It’s a beautiful sport.” He wanted to bring the sport to life in a personal project, something that would be free from the expectations or constraints of a client. So he teamed up with Spanish diver and model Claudia Gilabert, photographing her during training and practice to get a full picture of the diver’s process.
Diving is a unique sport, similar to some in Track & Field, where athletes get only a single moment to compete. When they jump off the board or off the platform, all of their work is expressed in the distance between the board and the water. It’s a compact time, and the focus of all their training. “There’s a lot of preparation and years of training for just one or two seconds of execution so I asked her how it works with the preparation. I wanted to know if before she jumps if she does the whole jump in her mind at the time, or how does it work,” says Carles. Through his images he offers us both frozen explosive moments of Gilabert’s dives, and the focus that surrounds her before she jumps off the board. “The duality is quiet and concentration, and then action. It was important to show both sides,” Carles says.
Carles has made a name for himself by shooting incredibly famous and wealthy athletes all over the world. It’s afforded him a particular angle on the sports industry but he wants to open it up to more figures. There are sports and athletes all over the world that get almost no coverage compared to the most popular athletes, and Carles takes it as his responsibility to boost those that are relatively hidden. “I find it important to give visibility to other sports besides soccer or basketball, and specially feminine sports. I think they don't get the attention that they deserve,” Carles says. “Divers train hours and hours every day for many years and they don't make any money with it. Even if they represent their country in the Olympic Games and win a medal, they will never make a life of it. It's a lot of work and sacrifice for ‘nothing.’ I think it's unfair.” As an artist and photographer, Carles is uniquely poised with his audience to bring attention to parts of the industry he’d like to shed more light on.