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Cris Arevalo Colombian Skater


This photo was taken July 29, 2016, at Pala Skatepark, San Diego, California.

A long way from Colombia

Cris Arevalo, a skater who visited California in the summer of 2016, came to check out the skater scene in Southern California. What he found was what some people consider the birth of skater culture, having spawned such greats as Tony Hawk, Ryan Sheckler, and Shaun White. Cris traveled all the way from Colombia and found the Pala Skatepark that quiet Friday afternoon of July 29th completely empty. There were two other skaters, and two dudes in the little house keeping an eye on things.

Perfect day for a photo shoot

I loaded up the Canon 70D with my matching 70-200 f/2.8L, set the shutter speed to 1600, the f-stop to 5.6, and the ISO to automatic. When a few clouds rolled in, I closed it to 6.3, but that was enough to capture the shadows and the contrasts without losing any highlights.

The Pala Skatepark

Right at the North end of San Diego County, the Pala Band of Mission Indians have a reservation near the small town of Fallbrook. They built a skatepark, built by skater Wally Hollyday, that is known mainly to skaters as one of the few "helmet optional" parks around.

The midday sun – Awesome shadows

As Cris was trying out the rails, drops, and ramps the midday sun began to create the moving shadows beneath him that added depth to the action shots.

Perfect weather – perfect shoot

The weather stayed warm and breezy, not heating up too much. We managed to get a few hours of shots in before we called it a day.

 Back home to Colombia

Cris is back in Colombia now, and he’s promised to return soon to hit the rest of Southern California and maybe head East to Detroit and New York.

How to get there

The Pala Skatepark is located on the Pala Indian Reservation, at the eastern end of Highway 76, from Oceanside it’s about half an hour to 45 minutes drive. Admission is just a few bucks and they’re open most days from 2:00pm and weekends earlier.