Semi-retired teacher captures village life in HDR photography

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.

Mr. Simon Bull at the Christmas Market in Buxton

Mr. Simon Bull at the Christmas Market in Buxton

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.”


Steam_and_Smoke_Dragon by Simon Bull

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.”

Any of these images are available for sale – email giving details of the particular image or images you require. See pricing here.


“1,2,3 Libya must be free!” [Video]

This was one of the slogans Libyan protesters shouted against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, this afternoon in Sheffield City Centre.

About 50 people – including children and women – gathered outside the town hall to join the spiral of protests throughout nations in North Africa. The price to pay for a democratic reform in Libya seems to be a river of blood, after security forces fired on protesters in Tripoli on Sunday night.

Boosted by Egypt revolts, Libyans believe now it’s the right time for a change. On the other hand, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi – who has led since 1969 – and his son Saif al-Islam would rather start a civil war than surrender to the opposition.

During the demonstrations in Sheffield, the Libyan protesters stopped to pray at 2pm.

%d bloggers like this: