Semi-retired teacher captures village life in HDR photography
April 3, 2011 2 Comments
Simon Bull, 58, switched from teaching to high dynamic range photography, in order to capture the daily life in Hathersage for future generations.
Mr. Bull admits he has always been interested in photography, but only after finishing the 31 years of full teaching in Derbyshire Primary Schools, did he have time to focus on his hobby.
He chose HDR photography, a technique made with computer graphics, which produces an almost alive texture to the photos. In the last five years, Simon became known as the photographer of the village.
“People tend to ignore me in a positive way if I have my camera in my hand, so the resulting images are far more natural and informal, which people like.
“I’ve always thought about my images of local events being used at a future date as they do portray some aspects of village life and characters as seen in about 2005-2010,” he added.
Kenya’s unique experience
Not only local organisations have been interested in his style of photography, but he was also invited by a Fair Trade company to a trip to Kenya to capture “the processes of the wood carvers, the basket weavers and the metalworkers”.
Mr. Bull described this opportunity as “a very unique experience” as he saw all the places that tourists wouldn’t get to see, even though he was protected by police all the time.
Mr. Bull usually exhibits his photos at the end of the Hathersage Gala Week in July. But this year, he was also present at Christmas markets in Buxton, where he sold over £600 of images and agreed on two commissions – one wedding and work for a hotel website.
About a year ago, he produced images for the Hathersage Business Centre to help the sale of the business units in the centre. But HDR photography remains a hobby for him as he doesn’t rely on the income from it.
‘Great aptitude for photography’
Although he does not consider himself an artist, Simon Bull’s images have appeared in a variety of photographic journals. His work was recently published in an issue of the ‘Digital Photographer’ magazine. Mr. Bull is also a member of the project Living Art.
Simon Homfray, from Living Art, said: “I got to know Simon a little over the last few years and can vouch for him as a person of great aptitude for photography. He is a kind, warm and friendly person.”
Always looking for interesting textures, Mr. Bull likes to take photos that “can make you feel the steam of trains, the light of the church, the snow or the people.”
Although his portfolio contains pictures from all around the world, he would not travel “for the sake of capturing particularly places.”
He believes “there are still plenty of images to be had locally as each day brings different light, different weather conditions or different events.”
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