The Dark Rooms of... Carol Olerud
The Dark Rooms of... is an interview series in which a photographer talks about his or her darkrooms, the digital and the mental, or technical and inspirational. What makes you click?
In this edition of The Dark Rooms of… we are focused on Australian/Dutch Street- & Documentary photographer Carol Olerud.
Here we go
Who are you?
Carol Olerud FRPS, born in Brisbane, Australia in 1962. I was really happy to receive my first camera in 1974. Since then, I’ve been rather fanatic about photography. Only in 1997 did I first join a local photo club. That was the start of a hobby that has gotten even more out of hand. I began participating in competitions, workshops, mentorships, courses, photo trips, expositions, making photo books and more. Since then I joined many more groups, such as the National Group Documentary Photography of the Dutch Fotobond (where I actually am the coordinator of since 2018), the photographers collective Visie+, Photo Group De Verbeelding, a smaller group called LeVeL5 and I’ve been a member of a Masterclass group as well.
The Royal Photography Society (RPS) is my most recent membership. In 2018 I gained the Associate Distinction with a panel of 15 photos. In 2021 I gained the Fellowship Distinction with a body of 20 photos. I also became the organiser of the Benelux Chapter.
With all these groups and clubs, I meet very many like-minded people.
Do you think technique is important?
You need to know the rules to be able to break them
What equipment do you use?
I have a Canon 5DMIV with fav lens 16-34mm f2.8L
For reportage work I use a 28-70mm f2.8L, a 100mm f2.8 Macro lens or a 50mm f1.4 lens. I also have a 24-105mm f4L lens, which I hardly use and a 70-200mm f2.8L lens as well.
And my iPhone 11 Pro Max of course.
And what software?
I started with Photoshop, but now basically only use Lightroom Classic on my Mac
How do you edit your photos?
I do my editing in Lightroom Classic, I print my photos with my Epson Stylus Pro 3880. I try to edit as little as possible. I shoot in RAW and basically adjust minor things. The original image from the camera needs to already be pretty good, as if taking a slide image in the analogue time. Well exposed etc. This saves a lot of time when working behind the PC.
Where lies your heart?
Martin Parr is pretty much my most favorite photographer! But I admire many, my bookshelves are full!
Do you have your own style?
I do, I think after so long I have developed a certain style. Over the years you develop that. Nice isn't it when people recognize a photo from your hand!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! Photo books, newspapers, museums, expositions, presentations etc. Being a member of all the groups where you meet people. During the whole Covid period I watched many Zoom sessions, mostly with the RPS, they interviewed a lot of photographers. I also Zoomed with most of my other groups, it was a brilliant way to keep contact.
Does your project start with an idea or with a loose image?
Both. Sometimes I have an idea for a project. I now am working on something which is taking a longer time but I also just bump into things too. Because I take so many photos, series develop, I tend to observe many subjects, so I collect photos. It can be that I want to tell a story which I then photograph in one session.
When is your project finished?
When you have told the story. You feel when you are done. There is nothing more to add to the series.
During your project, do you already know how it ends?
That really depends on the story. On my newest project I’m not sure yet.
What is your favorite photo and why?
This is one of the first photos a Mentor said was very good. This was at the start of my photographic journey. It is of my children when they were young and I just love this photo. It has a story, it’s funny too. Who takes such a photo, instead of helping the child first?
What do you want to achieve
I enjoy everything to do with photography. It would be great to become a BMK (Dutch Fotobond Masterclass Photographer) I have also sat on several jury’s which is fun and something I will do more often.
For the rest I’ll see what comes on my path. I’m pretty busy with organizing and coordinating the many groups I’m in.
What would you like to know from others? You may ask one photographer one question. What would that be?
That’s difficult! Because of the very many Zoom sessions with so many (professional) photographers who have been telling us everything, I generally don’t have many questions left. You can look up info, so asking one photographer one question is difficult.
Where can we see more
On my personal website www.carololerud.com
My photographic work is also on the websites of the groups I am a member of:
www.rps.org / www.fotobond.nl / www.fwg-deverbeelding.nl / www.visie-plus.nl
On social media I am active on Instagram, Facebook and Flickr
That’s it for this newletter
Do you like this interview? Do you want to see more? Send my some suggestions for photographers you like to see interviewed at Darkrooms. Of course you can suggest yourself if you have an interesting story to tell.
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