Sailing photography: Interview with Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing Photography

Lately we were writing about some more classic sailing topics. We wrote about British Overseas Territories, Caribbean islands, sailing movies, books andsongs. But for this week we have prepared something on a more unexpected note. Sailing photography!

Have you ever seen a photograph and immediatelly fallen in love with it? Of course you have! Everybody has. In modern day and age photos are everywhere. And it’s imposible to escape them. Apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have greatly helped this trend or even invented it. So rather than running away from it, people have embraced this new trend. The amount of photographs we amateur photographers take daily is higher than ever! But in this world where everybody is a photographer we must filter out who’s photos we do like and want to see and who’s style we do not prefer.

Sailing Photography
Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

We in Sailing Europe love social media in general. We are seeing hundreds and hundreds of sailing photographs daily on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And there are a lot of photos we see and like, love, repost or save every day. But while scrolling the social media there were always those photos that stood out. Photos which you had to immediately find out who the author was.

That’s the story how we first heard about Carlo Borlenghi, Italian born photographer stationed in Milano. His sailing photographs were extraordinary. His sailing photographs were always different, unique and simply beautiful. They were kind of photographs that just could draw the attention of the viewer howevere interested or not interested in sailing he was.

Sailing Photography
Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

So we decided to find Carlo and bring him in for an interview. And we’re glad we had a chance to talk to some of the best sailing photographers out there. It was truly inspirational talk and it was a pleasure trying to understand his view on photography. Meet Carlo through this short interview and make sure to check out his work on his Instagram, Facebook and his website. We can guarantee you will fall in love! Just like we did.

Sailing Photography

For how long have you been photographing? When have you discovered your talent and when did you fall in love with sailing photography?

I have been dedicated to sailing photography for 40 years, and I still have the same enthusiasm like when I started this working adventure. In short, I love photographing.

What’s so special about sailing? What do you love about sailing photography?

I found sailing to be a very intelligent sport with an exceptional surroundings. I had the luck to see almost all seas on our planet and to discover unique natural beauties.

Sailing Photography
Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

What were you photographing in the beginning and when you started with sailing photography?

The photography was my hobby. While I was studying engineering in Milan I was taking photos of Lake Como, which is a place where I was born.

Inspiration and sailing photography

What is it about sailing that you find inspirational?

I could not say that sailing is inspirational for me as I am not a sailor but I definitely feel good at the sea. Every time I go to the regatta, I leave all the problems on the land.

Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

You have traveled the world photographing sailing races and events. Where has your career taken you and is there still some place you want to visit?

I would like to go to Antarctica. I had never an occasion to organize a photography trip in that part of the world.

What makes a great sailing photograph? What are you looking for in your photographs?

I am trying, even if it’s not always successful, to take a non-typical sailing photos. I am trying to take an unusual photos, different ones that will represent the event.

Sailing Photography
Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

Personal opinions

Do you sail or are you only photographing sailing? What are your favorite sailing destinations? Where have you sailed so far?

I am really enjoying taking sailing photos (in this profession) so I could say that I am sailing for pleasure.

Is there any photo you like the best? Why that photo?

Actually, I do not have a favorite one. Forty years ago, you were happy if you could take a photo from different angle. Nowadays photos are not special. For example, today with the technology progress you can take photos that 40 years ago was impossible. So, I could say that every period has its best photo.

Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

You had an exhibition in Bilbao METRO? How was it having an exhibition somewhere that is not usually a place for an exhibition to be held?

The exhibition in the Bilbao (Sail in Festival) was a beautiful surprise. The architecture of this metro is beautiful, minimalist, with few elements all tending on grey so the sailing photos fit the space perfectly.

It seems that it has been appreciated as the press feedback was very positive but it would be better to ask this question to people who were there.

Carlo Borlenghi
Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi

Prizes and awards

How many exhibitions have you had in your life? Where were those exhibitions held?

I had exhibitions in Milan, Paris 2007 SPACE LOUIS VUITTON, Valencia, Madrid, Malmo, Trapani, Geneva; Arsenal Iseo lake, Paris 2012.

I’ve read you won a lot of prizes for you photographs. What have you won and what are some awards you appreciate the most and why?

Firstly, in 1983 I have received the “Marian Skubin” award for the best sports photography published in Italy. Maybe this award was one of the most important.

Secondly, I was a winner for three consecutive years of the “Marina di Pescara” award for the dissemination/disclosure of nautical photography in Italy.

In 1986 I won in Paris the “Grand Prix Professional de la photo de Mer” organized by the French Chamber of Commerce.

In 2003 I won the Omega award, as the best sports photographer in Italy.

2007 I won the ‘Grand Prix de l’Image Course au Large‘ award – Salon Nautique de Paris 2007.

In 2007 I received an award plaque from the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano for the many years of intense activity (for my contribution) in favor of the sailing world.


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Tin Đudajek

About the Author: Tin Đudajek

Tin is a marketing specialist at SailingEurope. Young journalist with a background in project managment and media in general. Sailing enthusiast, anthropologist and explorer.

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