Photographer spreads his wings

Mr Noel Fisher with one of his many photographs Photo: Erica FisherMr Noel Fisher with one of his many photographs Photo: Erica Fisher

Central Coast Newspapers’ photographer, Mr Noel Fisher, has decided to share his collection of photographs from the past 30 years on a new digital platform.

Mr Fisher recalled that the first time he realised he loved photography was when he was about eight years old. “My cousins came back from a trip around Victoria with their instamatic photos and I just decided I loved photography,” he said. He calls his collection photographic wall art. “It is a cross-section of scenery in a National Geographic style and it aims to be transporting. “The thing about photography, is that it is a moment in time that can never be repeated, so you are really recording history. “I have never thought of myself as an artist.

“I see it as recording history, but to make it interesting, it has to be in a pleasing way, or people are not going to look at it.” Newcastle born, Mr Fisher’s fi rst job out of high school was as an apprentice fitter and turner. “Back then, in Newcastle, everyone went from year 10 to apprenticeship. “I grew up in the shadow of BHP, so I went into the factories like everyone else, and then, of course, the downturn came, and there were too many apprentices and not enough work. “I had an opportunity to work in the Sydney Adventist Hospital as an orderly, and then a position came up in the audio visual department. “Then they needed someone to do photos of nurses, then I started to do surgical procedures.” An associate diploma in photography followed, resulting in Mr Fisher becoming a specialist clinical photographer.

“I was chief photographer at North Shore Hospital in my 20s for about three years, which included photographing autopsy, wounds and surgery. “Back then it was for disease tracking, quite often a photograph is the best way to track tumors and clinical photography is very exacting. “Each photo has to be taken the same way from the same angle with the same lighting. “I did do all the pretty stuff as well, all the annual reports and visits by VIPs.” Mr Fisher had been thinking about going to the Middle East when he got a call to work in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. “I was doing the same work, but I used the opportunity to travel extensively whenever I could, and also photograph within Saudi Arabia, which is a restricted country.

“I had more than one gun pointed at my head, but I worked different ways of covertly taking pictures, and then I also used that time to travel to Turkey, Egypt, Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan.” He proposed to his wife, Clea, who was working in the Middle East as a nurse, on top of a monastery. Clea and Noel and their two children eventually made Green Point their home. He said it was the proliferation of beaches and scenery that attracted him to the area, but wants to spend more time taking local photographs. Mr Fisher’s photos are often purchased by the State Library of NSW to add to their archival collection. He does commercial photography and has spent recent years developing his skills as a photo journalist.

The Rocks Markets have just accepted Mr Fisher as a stall-holder, and he is currently working on a commemorative book for Coast Shelter. As for his personal favourite from the 30-year collection? Mr Fisher said: “I haven’t taken it yet, I am still looking, still striving for that. “I remember one of my images, of Alexandria, that has been very popular, but I discounted it until another photographer looked at it and said it was awesome.” Mr Fisher’s open edition and limited edition collection can be seen at ncimages.com.au.

Source: Interview, Noel Fisher, NC Images Jackie Pearson, journalist

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