An Interview with Sports Photographer Delly Carr

November 17, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | Comment |

Q. Briefly describe a Day in the Life of Delly Carr!

Wow, great question to begin with. No day in my life is the same, so that's why I love being a photographer. My office day is usually filled with all the paperwork, marketing, accounting, public relations, and other business tasks that we ‘creatives’ are bad at and avoid doing with a passion. But we remind ourselves that it must be done. Our business survival relies heavily on all the paperwork being done promptly and professionally.

My work day is different - I'll prepare the photo kit according to what sport I will shoot that day and check the forecast and prepare for the weather that I am likely to encounter. I’ll start driving to the event very early, usually arriving 2-3 hours before it starts so that I can avoid the crowds, traffic and parking delays. I find the media centre, fire up the laptop and the internet connection. I make sure to get all my accreditation all sorted, attend any media briefing that may be on, and get some food and drink. Then I get out amongst the action and start firing at will. Once the event is over, there will be an hour or two of computer work to get the images out to the clients.

Q. What is your favourite kind of sports photography, and what is it about that sport that interests you so much?

I love watching and shooting sport, so each sport fascinates me in some way or form. But if I had favourites, any sport that involves water. Water adds so much extra movement, sparkle, shapes, and is so unpredictable in what it will do. Any of the rugby/football codes are also great to shoot because undoubtedly the elements of “Blood Sweat and Tears” are mixed in amongst the macho action we all expect there to be. And there is Triathlon, three sports rolled into one, and a sport I have photographed for 20 years and more - I have grown to love and be part of it.

An Interview with Sports Photographer Delly Carr

Q. How did you make the break-through to becoming a full-time pro photographer?

Yes there have been defining moments, but becoming a full-time photographer is not something that happened overnight. It took many years of knocking on doors, making calls, ethics and good business practises, producing quality work, making mistakes, proper budgeting and most importantly, reaching for the stars and following the passion to be a full-time photographer. I never gave up.

If I had two 'breakthroughs' they would be when Sydney was awarded the rights to host the Olympic Games in 2000, and then winning an Award for the Best Action Photograph of that same Games a year later.

Q. What kind of equipment do you use now, and what did you start with?

I use Nikon pro gear right now. My kit would consist of 2 pro bodies, a 600mm f4 lens, a 300mm f2.8, 80-200mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, a f2.8 fisheye, SB900 flash, and a multitude of CF cards. And a trolley to cart it all around !

Q. What has been the single most important technological improvement for your photography, and why?

In the past 12 months or so, the generation of cameras being produced and their low light capabilities are outstanding. I am forever shooting so many sports in the evening to suit the TV Audience market. I cannot blame the camera for missing an image because I have had to sacrifice aperture or shutter speeds to compensate for the low light, the onus is now back on me to get the picture.

The digital cameras of today have finally caught and surpassed the quality of the professional film cameras we once had.

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