Gear Theory Philosophy & Reflections

Video: Chatting to Ashley Carr in Stourport (part 2)

November 19, 2019

A couple of months ago I went to Stourport and met up with Ashley Carr. This is part 2 of the video I made, if you’d like to see the first part, you can find it here. If you’ve watched the first part already, you might be happy to know that it continues in exactly the same slightly ranty vein.

The conversation kicks off with me and Ashley talking about the power of the brain to learn light and distance. Ash talks about how practising judging the light and then checking yourself with a light meter can very quickly help you learn to read daylight with relative ease. I then reflect on how in the early days of my return to film I used a Voigtlander Vito B and came unstuck with the imperial distance scale. I then mention that I went on to teach myself distance with my first Leica M4-2. In fact, it might have been the Voigtlander R2A, I can’t quite remember, but it’s by the by anyway…

We then move on to talking about framing, and how Ash feels that film slows him down and encourages a sense of knowing when to take a picture and when not to. He then talks about how 35mm and indeed digital encourage a less strict mentality since he has the ability to shoot more frames. Ash reflects on how this impacts him within his work as a professional compared to how he shoots personally.

We then talk about limitations and constraints and the benefits of working within them – if you read this website often, you’ll know this is a particular favourite subject matter of mine. I then briefly touch on working in a linear way and how I find committing to either shooting black & white or colour when I first pick up a camera, even if it’s digital, benefits me.

The conversation then drifts on to the importance of consistency in photographic style, and then how Ash’s work and the narrative it tells is much more based around images as part of a series rather than single “hero” images. We then talk a little bit about how this has been impacted by social media and how there is now an increased pressure to create single images that tell a whole story by themselves.

Hopefully, there’s something interesting in there, but even if you don’t find it interesting, you might find the fact that I clearly have no idea how to use the meter in my Nikkormat; a theme that manages to span the whole video…

Just a final note – apologies for the sound being a bit crap in places. My mic picked up some interference a few times which meant we were reliant on Ash’s for me too.


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  • Reply
    November 19, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    *sigh* I’m filling up here *sniff*. A vid on a genuine photographer at play, rather than a lifestyle vehicle to flog some product. Are you allowed to put stuff like this up on YouTube? And another thing – “If you’ve watched the first part already, you might be happy to know that it continues in exactly the same slightly ranty vein.” – It does what it says on the tin. Mark my words, if you don’t re-title it to ‘Fear and loathing on the 6×7 trail’, YouTube will take it down on the grounds of introducing realism to an essentially fantasy based platform.

    And the standard of photography. Oh man. A big thanks to Ashley. His composition is ‘sit back and just let it soak in’ standard. Pic #3 (0:42) blew me away. Definitely a painter.

    There was Abbott and Costello.
    Then Derek and Clive, Morecambe and Wise, Baddiel and Skinner, Fry and Laurie, Smith and Jones, Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart… erm… maybe not the last one. Do we now have Gill and Carr? I hope so.

    Cheers man. Excellent stuff.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      November 24, 2019 at 8:41 am

      Ha! I shall very likely meet up with Ash again – yes close by and we get along well. In the meanwhile I’ve shot videos with a couple of other fine fellas – hopefully they will go down well too

  • Reply
    Dominique Pierre-Nina
    November 19, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    I really enjoy those series , great.


  • Reply
    November 15, 2020 at 3:57 am

    I think Ashley Carr is great. I really enjoy these interviews you do. But one word of advice: Please do less talking yourself and let the photographer your with talk more. These conversations should be about your subject not you. If you do this, I think you’ll find your interviews even more interesting, and, as a bonus, easier to do.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      November 15, 2020 at 7:58 am

      It’s not an interview, it’s just a conversation that we filmed. I’m sorry my input isn’t interesting, but if I were to attempt to contrive a proper interview it would be harder and less enjoyable.

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