Author name: Simon

Simon is a documentary photographer. This means narrative projects, told via long form photo-essays, and publications. Follow him on Instagram for a rolling feed of his work: His personal blog can be found at:

Making Flash Work for my Photography

I do not like flash photography. I do not enjoy the feeling of light cutting through the darkness directly towards whomever or whatever I am photographing.

However, sometimes there is simply no light available. Sometimes making the image is more important than my sensibilities and taste for ideal conditions. Sometimes photography is not about what I enjoy, but what is necessary in order to continue enjoying it. Most everyone knows what a camera is, and the only thing you’re likely to achieve from photographing “stealthily” is presenting as an outsider, which isn’t going to give you the results you’re probably after. Similarly, people know what a flash is and does, and if you’re using one while also trying to remain stealthy you’re entering quite the paradox – but using one while also being overt is just combining two obvious things about photography that people are familiar with without wondering what you might be trying to achieve.

The Whole Roll – 12 Exposures with 30 year Expired Kodak Ektar 100

June 2022 I was documenting the ceremony and spectacle of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II. Earlier, while allocating my kit, I had found a roll of Ektar 100, expired in 1992. It was only a 12 exposure roll, so I didn’t have much incentive to use it for anything “general” but I realised I had a specific colour-centric application for the flyover that was scheduled as part of the days programming. I don’t usually work with colour, but have seen and missed flyovers in the past, and the colourful trails against the sky were something I wanted to be sure I had at least a snapshot record of.

PPP Cameras – Repair & Servicing Review

Buying for life means maintaining for life. This is true of anything; if you want for your leather boots to not dry out and crack, but to live up to their brand reputation as lasting generations then you have to be sure to moisturise and brush them. They won’t do this themselves as part of regular wear, it’s something you need to take responsibility for. Buying for life doesn’t just mean finding the brand that everyone else recommends, it means making sure that product is designed to be rebuilt, accounts for wear and tear, and taking active care, participating in the maintenance rituals in order to ensure that longevity.

Economies of Film

After seeing some online discussions about the price of film rising I thought I’d revisit and follow up on a piece of writing I previously wrote about darkroom prints, and how I go about working out my cost basis in order to price them appropriately.

Unlike that article, the cost of film itself is just that – an expense. Prints are a cost with the back end possibility of a sale, which means a cost breakdown is actually part of a calculation for pricing them. You can factor in the cost of your physical film to the eventual print, or charge a markup if working with a client who has asked you to work with film, but for most people I think film will not be a factor you are making much money back on. That is why finding a way to keep that cost as low as possible makes the most sense for the long term approach to working with the medium. Finding ways to save even 50p per roll works out to hundreds of pounds across long term consistent work.

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