About

I was born and raised in Carlisle, Cumbria, the second of five children. My parents had met in The Lake District and it was to The Lake District, being only 10 miles from home as the crow flies, that we were taken on regular adventures. Tales of Crinkle Crags, Pavey Ark, Great End, Dollywagon, Gimmer Crag, fed my imagination and started a connection with mountains, summits and wild areas that has never waned.

I left Carlisle for Liverpool in 1982 graduating in Maritime Studies in 1985. Whilst in Liverpool I got my first serious 35mm SLR camera and I photographed the waterfront, the docks and on ships in Liverpool, to provide reference materials for my studies. The seed for photography had thus been sown aided by Michael Freeman's excellent book 'The Manual of Outdoor Photography' which I still have.

I started working in the Removals & Storage Industry in 1987. A move to Perth, Scotland, in 1988 re-invigorated my connection with the outdoors, climbing my first Scottish mountains before moving back to Cumbria in 1989 where I met my wife, Christine. We had two years in Kendal on the edge of The Lake District before my work took us back to Scotland in 1991, this time with our 6-month old daughter, Victoria, and we have been living in Fife since 1996.

On our return to Scotland I picked up a guide book called ‘The Munros’ (Scottish mountains above 3000ft) and another called ‘The Corbetts’ (Scottish mountains between 2500-3000ft) and summit fever took hold soon after. I teased the summits out in one’s and two’s when time allowed, revisiting places time and time again until I had picked them off. This approach allowed me to explore vast areas of wilderness more intimately. I've kept a journal too so I can recall each summit reached as if it were only yesterday. 22 years later I am about half way through the lists. Most of the time I didn’t bother to carry a camera, fearing it would lead to distraction. Summit fever has this effect on you and I think there are plenty of people who know what I mean.

My first digital camera came in 2002 and I was immediately taken by the fact that images could be downloaded and viewed on a screen. A few years later I entered BBC TV’s Countryfile Photographic Competition and one of my images got featured in their 2006 calendar. Six months later I invested in a dSLR, a few lenses and filters and a tripod. However, my eagerness to be on the summits meant it would be a few more years before my photography would be at a level I desired.

In 2012 I made a big decision to leave the Removals and Storage Industry and its 6-day working week and this gave me the freedom to explore landscape photography in a way I was never able to do before. After meeting a local photographer it didn't take long for me to grasp that the light, seasons, tides, weather, all have a role to play and when they fall into place a window of opportunity exists, perhaps only for the briefest of moments. The penny had dropped and I set about exploring western Fife and beyond, watching the sky and the sea, plotting the sun through the seasons, taking photographs as I went, learning and developing all the time. It has been and continues to be hugely rewarding.

Perseverance has paid off. I now have a selection of images that I can claim as mine. Some have been taken within a few miles of my home, others from further afield. Some were gained as a result of persistence whilst others I can freely admit were from being fortuitous. They all appeal to me on a personal level and I hope that they may hold appeal for others too.

My aim is to continue to improve and take photography with me into the Scottish mountains and along the coast. There is much to photograph; the landscape is vast and you can lose yourself in it away from the photography honey traps of Glen Coe, Torridon and the Cuillin of Skye. Wherever I go I'd like to try to photograph the places I find my way.


Simon
June 2014.