Originally from the United Kingdom, photographer and author Simon Bond is currently living in Asia with his wife doing what he loves most –taking photos.
Last year you released your book, Simple Scene, Sensational Shot, to positive reviews. What have you been working on lately?
Having published my first book last year, I decided to make photography my full time profession. In the last year I’ve been traveling around Asia to build on my travel photography portfolio. While traveling I’ve had several articles published in in-flight magazines, with the most interesting story being about the sulfur miners of Ijen in Indonesia. It’s also an ambition to publish books in the future on subjects such as night photography and creativity in photography.
How did you first become interested in photography? Did anyone inspire you when you started out?
I became interested in photography when I was 15, though at this age I had always thought of photography as a pastime. At this age, the most influential person on me was my teacher, a man named Mr. Ponsford. He liked a lot of the photos I was taking back then, and his enthusiasm made me take photography more seriously. I admire a lot of established photographers but wasn’t really affected by them. For me I think the methodical approach from my science background was what had the greatest effect on my work. In this sense, I see myself in the same light as the punk and post-punk era musicians who didn’t look to previous musicians for influence, but who brought their background from other fields into their music.
As camera technology becomes more sophisticated, what do you think will allow photographic artists such as yourself to stand out from us mortals?
As always, it’s about the imagination, not the technology. It’s easy to become technically sound and to understand the formula for good composition in a photo. It’s not always easy to find inspiration, of course, but with my refraction series I managed to develop a style that is distinctly my own, and that allowed me to stand out from the crowd. That has led to my work being published in newspapers back in the UK, and I even had a feature on my work by an American weatherman for ABC7.
The intro to Simple Scene, Sensational Shot on Amazon tells that your book offers a wealth of techniques and creative approaches will open your eyes to the beauty that surrounds you. Can you talk about that a little more?
When I wrote this book, I didn’t want people to get bogged down in the technical aspects of photography; rather, I wanted them to pick those things up in a natural process as they learned about various photography techniques. In this way I envisioned photography as a visual language, with the technical aspects being the grammar. The book shows through a series of case studies the types of photos I might take in places like a building site or the countryside. This is to show people that locations have many different types of photos. The next step is to look at some photographic techniques such as long exposure or silhouettes that can be applied to give eye-catching photos. Finally, the book talks about taking your camera out in the field to get these photos for yourself.
Are there other books that you would recommend to Haps readers looking to further develop their photography skills?
The best advice I can give to readers is to get out and shoot, though it’s always good to study as well. Another photographer with the same publisher as mine makes some great books, his name is Michael Freeman. The other types of books I’d recommend are those produced by National Geographic or Lonely Planet, which have many inspiring photos that could give you an idea for your own photo.
Simon’s Five Tips for Great Photos
1 If you have the choice between spending money on travel or buying expensive new gear, the choice is to travel.
2 Meet up with other photographers and learn from them.
3 Don’t emulate other people’s images; be inspired by them and make something unique.
4 Join online photography communities such as flickr, 500px or photography-related Facebook groups. Learn to give and receive feedback on your photos and those of other members.
5 Step out of your comfort zone and try new styles of photography. As with everything else in life, there is always something new to learn.
All photos by Simon Bond with the exception of the cover shot which was taken by his wife, Jayoung Kim. – This was originally published on Haps Magazine