All posts by Simon Carter
Matt â€œNoryâ€ Norgrove has been making his mark in the Blue Mountains of late. On the rock he has been ripping it up and has steadily accumulated an exceptional tick list of ultra-hard routes: lots of 31â€™s and 32â€™s, some rarely repeated, many in fast time — the list is too long to get into here. His enthusiasm, positive attitude, and encouragement of others, is appreciated.
Recently Matt crankedÂ Moonshadow, his first 33 — an awesome achievement! So I coaxed him out for photo shoot on that gnarly rock and worked him till his fingers were raw…
Also, below is an older shot that I took of Matt on Mr Line (32). Check out his blog, itâ€™s a good read.
Great job Matt. And thanks for the help with the shots. Keep cranking!
Here’s a little video we’ve just produced of Monique’s climb of the awesome Tom et je Ris (8b+ or 32) in Verdon Gorge, which I reported earlier here. I hope you like it!
I’ve shot video from time to time over the years, usually as second camera, getting the hard-to-get shots, on film, TV, and TV commercial jobs. But this it’s the first little video I’ve produced like this. I’m really psyched to do a lot more of them in the future and got some exciting projects in the pipeline. So what do you think? I’d love some feedback and to hear your ideas, let me know what you think of my dangling in mid-air camera work, and maybe I’ll get even more psyched to do more of these. For sure, stills photography will remain my main focus but I’m having fun mixing it up a bit.
If you have any feedback for Monique, you could always let her know on her blog here. I’m sure she’d appreciate some comments too.
I shot most of this footage on a Nikon D5100 in full high-definition and just a few segments on a Nikon D3s (including the time-lapse). A big thank you to Darryn Rogers for his graphics, editing and grading. And also a big thank you to Moby for letting me use his music.
The team at Climb Magazine (UK) have been producing a fantastic magazine of late and have kicked off the new year with their first ever Photo Annual, or “Photographic Issue” to be precise. Well, I’m hoping it’s going to be an annual thing anyway. Judging by the digital preview on their website (which you can see here) it’s looking good with lots of interesting articles. There is also an interview with yours truly.
I haven’t seen the actual magazine yet but it has a great cover.Â :-)Â I think the black and white works well. The shot of Crystal Davis on El Matador (5.10d) at Devils Tower, was taken using my special camera apparatus thingy to get the angle — more on that coming soon, promise!
My interview was by Ian Parnell, no slouch with a camera himself. Thanks Ian, for the opportunity to share some of my thoughts. And thanks to my assistant Cathy McBey, for shooting my portrait for this (not really a self-portrait as credited – now that would have been tricky!).
I’m looking forward to checking out everything else in the mag as soon as it arrives. Come on Australia Post!
Latest issue of Australia’s Rock Magazine is out and I’ve scored a few nice shots in there. Stoked! The cover is my shot of Monique on the amazing tufa route she did in Verdon Gorge, France, last year. The thought of that move, pulling through the last crux, about 50-metres up the 60-metre route, brings tears to my eyes! My earlier report about that climb, Tom et je Ris (8b+, 32), is here. I’ve been working on a little video of this climb and should have that online in a few days.
I’ve also scored the back cover with my shot of Lee Cossey on his Saturation Point (33) in the Blue Mountains, in this Black Diamond advertisement.
Among some other shots inside the magazine, I’ve got a another shot of Lee in a full-page ad for The North Face, this time on his Sneaky Snake (33) in the Grampians.
It looks like another interesting issue from Rock Magazine, keep up the good work!
The show must go on! I’m presenting my World Climbing: Rock Odyssey audio-visual show in Sydney this Thursday night at the Patagonia store in the city (93 Bathurst Street, from 7pm). And it’s free. I’ll also sign books for anyone who’d like to score a copy on the night. For anyone who missed the show last time, I hope you can make it and I look forward to seeing you there!
Happy New Year and welcome to my website for 2012!
My head is still spinning from twenty eleven. Wow, what a crazy action-packed year that turned out it was! All the travel, assignments, personal photography, publications and climbing became a bit mind-boggling at times. To kick the year off we produced a new Blue Mountains Sport Climbing guidebook, then I did photography trips to Lake Huntley in Tasmania, The Darrans in New Zealand, The Grampians and Arapiles as well as a bunch of more local shoots, helped work on the pilot for a new TV show, produced Rock Odyssey which culminated six years work, produced the 2012 calendar, did a massive climbing and photography trip to France and Spain (and made a very successful visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair whilst I was over that way), then came home and squeezed in a series of slide shows before Christmas. Phew! Did we really do all that? Crazy.
So over Christmas and New Year’s I took a bit of break, enjoyed home life for a bit and catching up with family and friends — and incidentally also saw our darling daughter, Coco, turn three…yay!
Over the break I was reflecting on the crazy year gone by and I couldn’t really imagine backing it up with another year like that… But um, short memory eh, because before long I started thinking about the year ahead, started hatching some plans, and yep, this one is already looking pretty darn full-on already. No doubt, or at least I hope (because I wouldn’t want it all to be predictable), a lot of things will come up that I haven’t envisaged yet, but if we do only half of the things we’ve got planned already, then it’ll be super busy and satisfying as it is. I’m psyched and looking forward to getting stuck into it all! Details, details? Well, yes, all will be revealed (right here in this blog) in due course — as soon as I can — but let’s just say my photography and work on publications won’t be slowing down this year. One thing I’ll mention now: obviously a new Australia coffee-table book is well overdue but that is just one of the projects we’ll be working on… And along the way both Monique and I have some climbing to do too…Â It should a great journey, I hope you can join us for the ride!
Don’t get me wrong, my optimism and energy doesn’t mean that I think everything is rosy, it’s all going to be easy and the outcomes are a given. I don’t. If you were to ask me: Do I think the business of being an Australian outdoors photographer, particularly one with a climbing obsession, is an easy one? No, it isn’t and I don’t see that suddenly changing. Creative photography is nice and all very well but should I perhaps produce more, say, guidebooks instead because as least people have a need for those? Yes, probably, my accountant would no-doubt recommend that. Should I stop shooting so much climbing just because I love it — and instead spend more time shooting other subjects or put more effort into finding gigs for more commercial work? Sure, that might be a good idea, the appeal is obvious and many “climbing photographers” have gone down that road… Has the game changed much since I started 18 years ago? Man, the internet then digital cameras changed EVERYTHING! Honestly, for starters I don’t miss sitting in front of the light-box sorting slides for days-on-end. And while some good things (publications, assignments and other gigs) have disappeared, in their place a lot of other opportunities have come along too. And while every climber and his dog has a camera these days, I actually find all the creative energy out there really stimulating. I like that there’s more and more interest in what I’m doing these days, it was a far more lonely profession when I started out (and this year I’m looking forward to sharing more of my photography thoughts, tips and tricks). And the toys, well they just keep getting better (can’t wait to get my hands on Nikon’s new D4, drool… looks sensational!).
So I’m optimistic. And I’m going to keep shooting (climbing especially) and producing as much as I can. I simply love my life and my work and I’m grateful for the opportunities I get to do something that is creative and which excites me. I think climbing is the best sport, errr, no… climbing is the best way of life that I know and it as been in my blood for over 26 years now. It also does (or at least can) take place at some of the most spectacular places on earth. I simply love the outdoors and climbing in particular and I want to share that through my photography. I want to bring something positive to the scene. Let’s celebrate and appreciate the good, the energy, the really amazing things that climbers do. Let’s get psyched!
So to everyone who has supported my work: Everyone who has purchased a book, a calendar or a print. Everyone who was interested enough to come along to one of my slide shows. Everyone who critics my work and gives me feedback, comments, encouragement and helps spread the word. Of course, the climbers who have “modelled” or belayed for a shoot. The editors and business clients who have published my work, given me cool assignments. And my sponsors: Sterling Rope and 5.10. THANK YOU to you all! The support is simply awesome and I can’t do it without you.
Crazy busy times here at the moment! The slide shows and book launch evenings in Katoomba and Sydney went off really well: great turn-out and an excellent vibe. Many thanks to everyone who has come along and helped make a fun night of it all! Next shows — Canberra this week and Melbourne next week.
The book has been generating quite a lot of publicity. There was a big feature in the Daily Telegraph paper last week and another feature in the Canberra Times on Sunday.
…and on Saturday I got a call from ABC News 24 television and the next morning I found myself doing my first live television interview. Which, perhaps like a run-out climb that you manage to cruise for the onsight, turned out to be lots of fun — in a strange sort of way!