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Interview: Photographer Carl Stacey (Italy/UK)

Can you tell us a little about you? I am a 45 year old Englishman living and working in Northern Italy where I am very happily married to Chiara. My “day job” is that of an IT tech and Network admin for various businesses.

How and when did you get into photography?

I started out shooting SLR camera’s with an old Zenit 12S Sniper kit, bundled with the now infamous Russian 300mm lens that I got for Christmas when I was about 14 years old... before this, I had only point and shoot compacts that were handed down from various friends and relatives. After this, and with just a basic knowledge of the ISO/shutter speed/aperture triangle, I upgraded to a second-hand Olympus OM10. I used this through college (a BTEC Art and Design course) and at various work experience gigs with local press agencies. It was during this period that I was introduced to the dark room and film processing, as a trainee, we usually got the job of loading and spooling the Ilford 400 B/W (at that time, all the press agencies seem to use it) film cases to be developed.

What does photography mean to you?

In essence, a creative outlet... I can’t sing or dance, and my painting skills have lapsed since art college, so photography it is... It’s also stimulating at an intellectual level, learning more techniques and experimenting with light and form. Being a foreigner in a strange land, it’s also a way to meet people, the best friends I have in Italy have been met through photography.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens? Now Nikon.. but I did have a period when I shot with Canon.. my favorite lens at the moment is a 50mm Nikkor 1.4

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I am still very much looking for a style, I seem to be happy with a look then find it lacking, and change everything.. this for me is part of the learning curve.. and I am still very much e beginner. I still need to decide what I want, and then how to get it. I prefer portraits and dance shoots, if I can add a painterly and sensual aspect, more the better..

Where do you get inspiration from? From life... music, film, galleries and the works of many of the artists I got to know during my college years... I have always loved the tones and dynamic use of composition by some of the fantasy artists from the 70’s and 80’s like Boris Vallejo and Chris Achilleos, also more cited artists like Man Ray and Dali.. not to mention the obvious sources such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt and many of the great impressionists. Inspiration is all around us. Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?

I try to, I tend to take a picture and repeat it until I am happy, usually with different models and lighting.. When setting up a shoot with a model, I usually send examples and we talk about what we are going to do, outfits, mood and such.. the trouble I find is that many models, at least if I am working in TF, will often arrive at the shoot with different idees.. and things need to be changed last minute to accomodate, this can be frustrating.

Studio, on location or both?

I prefer the studio.. I am a strobist at heart. But every now and again it’s good to get outside and do some location shoots.. I live in a wonderfull valley with waterfalls and forests.. it would be a shame not to take adavantage of this every now and again.

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

Definately a hobbyist.. at this time, I have no plans to use photography to earn a living..

What has been your most memorable session and why?

It would have to be one of the dance shoots I have done.. the whole process on the technical side like deciding on HSS or flash duration speed, the challenge of capturing movement and portraying something fluid and poetic in 2D is stimulating, and so easy to get wrong.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

I am not in a position to comment, I would not do it myself.. For now, photography is a medium that I use as a creative outlet, To have the experience and skill to garauntee results is a long way off.. I still see far too many errors in what I do.. and that is ok, I understand that the path to doing something at a professional level is long and needs dedication..

What do you think of our new magazine?

Any outlet for creatives is good, I have enjoyed the process of being a part of this and hope to see many more editions of Modelenland in the future.

Model: Eleonora Savorelli

Model: Giulia Mostacchi

Model: Melissa La Monica

Model: Virginia Lercara

Model: Chiara DiPietro

Model: Chiara DiPietro

Model: Denise Bessone

Model: Martina Margherita Castrale

Model: Aura Torrealba

Model: Manuela MiciaFe

Model: Chiara Mazza

Model: Raffaele Buffoni

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