Simon introduced himself as Comrie-born local who left, and came home again. He was the beneficiary of a lucky break that saw him going to oil-rich Venezuela for the 1980’s, where he learned his photography craft in the world of corporate advertising. He told tales from his professional life, of researching locations for a calendar shoot near a sensitive oil refinery and getting arrested for his troubles, and of pre-Photoshop layering techniques involving enlargers, masks, large format film, and lots of patience.
He also spoke of some of the basic considerations he employs on shoots of any scale, whether it’s product images for advertising in Caracas or London, or more recent work back in Scotland shooting architecture and interiors for magazines and private clients. Considerations such as composition – arranging the important elements in the frame, including the right choice of lens to preserve shapes and proportions. Such as light – for it is, after all, the light, and how it interacts with its subjects, that the camera records. Such as learning to see – seeing the potential in a scene, and seeing where might be the best spot to stand to capture the feeling that inspired the taking of the photograph in the first place.
These simple considerations can help make our photography more efficient, with more of our images reflecting what we saw, and fewer disappointments.