Born in Canberra in 1966, Simon Carter is a professional outdoors photographer recognised internationally for his distinctive rock climbing photography. He was named by Men’s Journal Magazine (USA) as one of the World’s Best Adventure Photographers and described by the editor of Rock and Ice Magazine (USA) as “arguably the greatest climbing photographer of all time”.
Simon first became fascinated with photography and climbing as a teenager. He built his first darkroom in the family bathroom when he was 15, then at age 17 he discovered rock climbing and has been avidly pursuing the activity ever since.
Simon studied photography at high school and later at TAFE whilst also working at the Australian National University producing images for scientific research. After that his interest in the outdoors and climbing took over for several years. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Education at La Trobe University in 1990. Later Simon spent an eight month stint of full-time climbing in 1992/1993, mostly at Mount Arapiles and the Grampians. During this period he climbed several hard routes and became one of the first Australian climbers to make a repeat ascent of Serpentine (29) on Taipan Wall, he also established several new routes up to a similar level of difficulty. During this time Simon started photographing his friends climbing achievements, his love for photography was reignited, and he decided to pursue it in earnest.
Simon began working as a professional photographer, and established Onsight Photography, in 1994. Since then he has travelled widely for his photography and built up an extensive body of work encompassing many of world’s best climbing destinations — from Tsaranoro in Madagascar and Teplicke in the Czech Republic to Mount Huashan in China — as well as every major cliff in Australia.
The author of four coffee-table books: Rock Climbing in Australia, World Climbing: Images from the Edge, World Climbing: Rock Odyssey and Rock Climbing Down Under: Australia Exposed. Simon’s awards include the King Albert Medal of Merit for Achievements in the Mountain World (2000), the Rick White Memorial Medal for Services to and Achievements in Australian climbing (2009), and the Camera Extreme Laureate awarded by the Explorer’s Festival Poland (2010).
These days Simon balances photography and film projects with publishing guidebooks to some of Australia’s most significant climbing areas, including The Blue Mountains, Nowra, SE Queensland, The Grampians and Mt Arapiles, plus a guidebook to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, USA.
He lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, with his wife Monique Forestier (leading Australian rock climber, see moniqueclimbs.com.au) and their daughter Coco.