CCP asks Narelle Carter the deep questions about her craft
1. What gets you out of bed every day?
I love being out by the ocean when the first light caresses those rolling waves and out in the city at night when it is raining looking out a restaurant window as all the workers hurry by beneath umbrellas.
2. Who is the photographer that has inspired you the most?
When I was just beginning my photography career in 1984, a Press Photographer by the name of Greg Lee took me under his wing and taught me how to truly see the light in people’s eyes, and quite often this was brought out with how you interacted with them while taking their photo. I have always loved the work of Chris Stein who is a guitarist in Blondie and an incredibly amazing street Photographer. Capturing rare BTS of music artists and also many social and political documentary images.
3. What current camera are you shooting with?
Sony A7RIV and various 35mm film cameras in my collection. I can't seem to sell old gear they are like my children.
4. When you are on a shoot do you play music? What other essential items do you have with you for a successful session?
I totally focus on my surroundings, looking for any details, light play and motion that catches my eye. I am quite addicted to capturing movement with a slow shutter, Panning or ICM (intentional camera movement) which gives an artistic impressionist feel to my images. I love listening to music when I edit my shots and quite often this is the inspiration for my title and caption.
5. In the digital world how important is the print?
For me the print is the icing on the cake. It is the best feeling when you or a client have chosen an image to be printed, framed and grace a wall. You might have thousands of images on your hard drive but who else sees them unless they are printed? A tiny shared image on Social Media that is instantly scrolled past and immediately forgotten vs something you may walk by everyday that brings you joy to look at.
6. B/W - Colour - Analogue - Digital.
Put these words in your order of preference and tell us why.
I can't! I absolutely love them all which is why I don't have a niche photo style.
7. Have you exhibited your work, and other than the print, how important was the framing process to you?
Yes I have exhibited in public areas and also as group exhibitions with other photographers. The framing is incredibly important as it's dressing your image. Having worked at Charing Cross Photo I had the lovely job of helping clients choose a frame for their own, or purchased work. It is nine times out of ten that the image will dictate what frame moulding works best to enhance it's potential. My favourite product is Art Glass which minimises all reflections to barely none.
8. What defines a great image?
One that gives you an emotional response that you instantly resonate with.
9. What is your favourite photo that you have taken? Why?
I can't say that I have one favourite image. There are many images that I shot as a news photographer that will remain in my mind forever, some are not so nice. But the ones that bring me most joy right now are my Multiple exposures on 35mm Film as you can't predict or see how the images blend together until your roll of film is back from the lab. I always get my film processed and scanned by Iain and the team.
10. What is the best photography advice you have been given? Tell us by who if you can or want to?
Look behind you. Sometimes we are so intent on what is under our nose that we miss the spectacular moment happening behind. It also comes in handy when walking backwards to fit everyone in frame that you don't fall into a ditch in front of them. Yes this happened, I was OK.
11. When you are not taking photos, what are you doing?
I still love seeing live Music and supporting the music industry. I am and will continue to be a fan that takes photos.
Narelle Carter - December 2022 & January 2023