Breaking Bread with Photographer Charlotte Ring

Charlotte is a fourth year studying Geophysical Science and Environmental Science.

Charlotte is a fourth year studying Geophysical Science and Environmental Science.

What draws you to a particular subject or location, and how much time do you spend establishing your final shot?

I love photographing cities because of their geometric aspect. I also love to capture facets of everyday life with the addition of something new. I love cityscapes that I can alter or take out of context. Photographing people with cityscapes is fun to create balance. As for my usual process, I’m a ‘take-first, ask questions later’ type. I try to take as many photos as possible. I’m often surprised when I review my photos later. Sometimes the most striking ones are the quickest and least-preparation ones. Especially when I shoot people, the time I take to perfect a shot matters less than the combination of subject, background, and photo melding together in the final form.

Do you have any particular goal in mind when taking a picture, and how does that goal influence your photography?

I am often concentrating on the boundaries of my photograph. When shooting inanimate subjects I usually focus on the context of the photo. For example, even if I can see the whole mountain, photographing a small section will express something completely different than a mountain does. I’m fascinated by close up or unusual photos of common objects that make them seem unfamiliar. The boundaries of a shot allow the play between familiar and new, and allow artistic views of things we’ve seen many times before.

Is there any location or subject that you’d like to photograph, something you’ve never photographed but would like to capture?

I’ve always been obsessed with nighttime imagery, but capturing very dark scenes never turns out the way I see it. Simple places, like my room, or wet streets always seem so different from my eyes to the camera. Photographing people in low light is also difficult, so capturing the things I see in darkness has always been a goal of mine.

Who or what has been the strongest influence on your creative career, photography or otherwise?

I have been primarily influenced and inspired by a Facebook group, actually! Years ago, I joined “Unedited smartphone aesthetic pics.” Often photographers are more focused on sharing their camera specs and shooting techniques than they are on finding interesting subject matter. It was unique and wonderful to be in a space where all the photos were unedited and shot on low quality cameras. Some people could continue to be incredibly creative with their framing, and make some really cool art even with these restrictions. This taught me much about how to view and frame my subjects.

What is your ideal garden?

My favorite flower to photograph is definitely the dahlia, so my ideal garden would definitely include some of those. I think a good gardener has an appreciation for the wide range of colors of foliage. Leaves can vary from white, to green to purple. The color in a garden ought to come from more than just temporary flowers to create a luscious mosaic of color and texture to draw one in.

If you could live in any fantasy world as depicted in a book, graphic novel, movie, etc., where would you live and why?

I would definitely say Star Trek. The original series is focused on this utopic federation, and they have a genuinely positive outlook on exploration. They truly avoid interfering in other societies and work to accept differences. It was the most optimistic depiction of humanity, and I would love to be part of that.

If there’s anything you’d like to share that you’d like to share without our readers that doesn’t fit into our questions, feel free to do so here!

Photography is always a surprise. I think having an idea for the perfect photo never turns out to be as good as you imagined, while just catching something out a window that strikes you at the right angle is where the best expressions come through. That’s where you can show others how you see the world.

You can see more of Charlotte’s wonderful work in our Fall 2018 edition!

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