Inside this issue
Driven by the therapeutic benefits of the great outdoors, my passion lies in local woodland and the endless opportunities & challenges it provides. I crave atmosphere, experiences and unique moments in solitude that serve as a constant reminder that there is far more to photography than a photograph
Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.
You could say that including Simon Baxter as a featured photographer is thanks for saving me from a long stay in London when the Beast from the East shut down all travel north of Yorkshire. But then again, he seemed happy with the cup of coffee and a bit of cake, so perhaps it's more likely because his photography has a consistent and creative vision of the world which he explores and shares so well through his YouTube videos (we've talked to him before about his video work here). Fortunately, Simon was happy to spend some time answering our questions and sharing some of his favourite images with us. We hope you enjoy his work and if you do, we can highly recommend exploring some of his videos on his YouTube channel. (Oh, and keep him in mind if you ever need a lift 'up North!')
Can you tell me a little about your education, childhood passions, early exposure to photography etc?
My earliest memory of photography is buying a compact film camera from Argos while on holiday in Cornwall. I must have been younger than 10 at the time. I progressed to a Pentax 35mm fully manual film camera and I recall watching a photography series on TV by Chris Packham. I started out by photographing things in the garden, household objects and then rallycross racing at the Croft race circuit near Darlington. Another hobby when I was young and into my twenties was freshwater angling. We enjoyed fishing at secluded lakes and quiet rivers where I would photograph the mist rising from the still water at dawn or the colourful sky and reflections from the setting sun. My interest in photography and being creative has always been present and my approach to it shares many parallels with my passion for angling and mountain biking.
Mountain biking dominated my spare time while studying for my degrees in Business and then a Masters in IT. It’s a hobby that I, unfortunately, had to give up due to a back injury but it’s an event that slowly led me back to photography, finding solace in nature, and developing a deeper connection with the landscape.
What are you most proud of in your photography?
I think pride is something that has slowly developed as a result of an effort to seek a form of photography that offered solitude and therapy for both physical rehabilitation and to control my negative thought processes. In that process, I not only found my voice in photography but discovered a whole new world within my local countryside. I spent a long time searching for quiet and rarely trodden woodlands where I could feel the peace and enjoy the sense of child-like adventure. Pride was the last thing on my mind, but looking back, I feel a sense of pride in having turned my life around through photography. I am equally proud and thankful to have been able to do so by creating images of the woodlands I’ve discovered and have grown to love.