17 January 2017 2:38:00 PM AEDT
Name: Rafael Hernandez
Location: California, USA
Knog caught up with the man-behind-the-lens, Rafael Hernandez to talk about his love of the fixed cog & photography. Read Rafa's Knog Folk story below.
How did you get into cycling?
My older brother was responsible for getting me into cycling, back when i was in middle school i used to ride 4 miles to and from school on a K2 Bmx bike but it wasn't until winter of 2012 that he built his first track bike. I had always wanted a track bike without knowing what it was exactly, i think it was the simplicity of the build that always attracted me to it.
WHY FIXED GEAR?
The fixed gear scene in LA has so many cool people in it that it's hard not to get pretty involved in it.
...AND YOUR INTEREST IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I've been interested in photography since elementary school but finally got around to taking classes in high school, learning how to shoot and develop my own film and eventually moving towards digital photography. I've been shooting now for 13 years and still find it's all i ever want to do.
WHAT WAS The first RACE you photographed?
My first bike event was the Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race, i responded to an Instagram post that @wolfpackhustle needed a videographer and that's really where i got my start. I set myself up at the finish line and waited for the racers to show up close to sunrise, the energy there was insane especially among complete strangers to me at the time which would later become friends.
THE MOST MEMORABLE RACE / RIDER YOU'VE COVERED?
I'd have to say my favorite race to have covered was the 2013 Civic Center Race put on by Wolfpack Hustle, it was a closed course around City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. After following mash on instagram and watching youtube videos, i got to see Chas Christiansen and Walton Brush in person for the track race and i also got to watch Sean McElroy who was 14 at the time, come in first place for the mens road race.
WHICH OTHER photographerS INSPIRE YOU?
My all time favorite photographer is Henri Cartier Bresson, i have always aspired to have his ability to adapt to many photographic situations and capture them in a way that would not only clearly illustrate what is going on within the frame but also do so in a compositionally attractive manner as well.
What'S THE BEST THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
The challenge and the fact that there's always room for improvement in both activities keeps me going and motivates me to push myself to be better. A small reward for myself would be to take a photograph after a worthy climb on a track bike, just to catch the view from the top.