Elliot Simpson – Capturing People and Places

Love venturing to new places? Elliot does – and he has captured landscapes, objects, and people that tell the story of the trips that he has embarked on. Check out his story below.


Say hello to Elliot:


Where are you from? Where have you been?

I live outside of a town called Halstead in the English countryside.

I have lived in Brighton and Cambridge. Since I’ve been into photography, I have traveled around the U.K. a little bit to the Peak District, Lake District, Dorset, then to Scotland. Outside of the U.K., I have been to Iceland, Tenerife, Italy, France, Germany, and most recently, Washington – the state in the U.S.


What’s your favorite place in the world?

Right now, I would have to say Washington. One minute you can be strolling the streets of Seattle, and the next you can be at a trailhead in the Cascades, starting your amazing hike surrounded by pine trees, all the pine trees!

I have a photo from our walk to Franklin Falls where we stumbled upon this amazing isolated cabin. The red paint made it stick out like a sore thumb.

Walk to Franklin Falls, Washington

What’s on your “bucket list” of ideas to create?

I would love to get a shot of the Milky Way over the Alps.


How would you describe your visual style?

I’m still finding my style. I would like to think my images are honest, and I try to tell a story with the trips that I embark upon. For me, it’s not always just the picture at the summit for example, but the hike up there with the people I am with.


How do you find your inspiration?

I get inspiration from embarking upon adventures to explore new places and meeting people who share the same passion as me.


Do you get photographer’s block? If so, how do you overcome that?

I look for new places to venture out to, normally by researching on Google maps prior to setting out in the camper van. I love the feeling of discovery.


What types of photography do you do?

I mainly shoot landscape, but I have started shooting more portraits as well, the combination of the two is great. I find landscape to be my favorite at the moment, even when things often don’t go as planned – when everything does come together and you’ve got that shot you wanted, it’s so rewarding, I love it.

Dani at Old Harry

Holkham Bay

Wast Water

Kate in Wales

Phoebe in Woods

Snake Pass

Scotland

Sam in the Peaks

Durdle Door

Foggy Walks

What was the moment you decided to become a photographer?

I have always been a perfectionist with my work as a designer, so the transition of my work ethic from design into photography was fairly smooth. After I got my first design job after university, I saved up for a new camera as my old budget DSLR had broken, and from then on, I was hooked and haven’t stopped since.


What is the strangest situation you’ve ever faced as a photographer?

Probably climbing a 100 feet tree in the dark to get my drone back – luckily, it wasn’t damaged!


What has been your biggest setback as a photographer?

Having to balance a self-start-up career and my passion, if only humans could survive on no sleep.


Of the photos you’ve taken, which three are your favorite?

Lake Wenatchee. This was the first sunrise that I witnessed during my time in Washington. I woke up at 5:30 AM, made coffee, ate breakfast, hopped in my uncle’s classic 92 YJ Jeep Wrangler (- my brother and I looked into buying one as soon we got in) and we set off sliding about in the snow praying that the road was plowed to the Lake. We snowshoed in and watched eagles fly around while the sun rose.

Dorset. This was my first time at Old Harry and the first time I took my drone over the sea. My god, my heart was in my stomach the whole time watching birds seemingly aim for the drone.

El Benijo. This one was the last sunset that I could photograph in Tenerife as we were hours from the hotel and it was getting late. I had packed up and started leaving, dissatisfied from the shots I had, I walked straight back to the beach and set up again determined to get that shot. This is where I learned that being more persistent pays off.

What’s the best advice you can think of for someone just starting in photography?

Everyone always says this, but shoot as often as you can. Oh, and try to avoid getting caught up in the gear arms-race as alluring as a f0.9 lens can be.


What was your most memorable photoshoot?

That would be the ice caves in Iceland back when I first started taking pictures. We booked this very last minute, well, the night before, in fact. My friend Alex and I woke up at silly o’clock and set off on our 2-hour journey. We basically hit a snow storm and I could barely see the ice covered road in front of me. We finally made it only 30 minutes late. We had seen the pictures, but the feeling of euphoria from stepping into a glacier is like nothing else. The ice was a beautiful deep blue and smooth as silk, I’ll never forget this trip.


What’s your philosophy when it comes to being a great photographer?

Not really sure I know what it takes to become a great photographer, but you can’t go wrong with commitment, composition, and an understanding of light.


What do you think is the biggest thing holding you back in your photography?

Funds for those adventures.


How do you express yourself through your photography?

By photographing landscapes, objects, and people that fascinate me.


What kind of gear do you have?

I started with a Sony A7 and old manual focus Minolta lens at around £50 each. I still have the Sony A7, now with Sony lenses at 28mm, 35mm, & 50mm, and my most recent purchase, a DJI Mavic Pro.

My favorite would be the 35mm f2.8 on the A7, the setup is so compact while delivering amazing quality, I’ll keep using this for as long as possible.


What’s one lighting tip you’d like to share with other photographers?

Experiment, I know I still am.


What’s one post-processing tip you’d like to share with other photographers?

Download Lightroom, learn the tone curve and try not to over do it.


What is your most life-changing event?

Being in a job that I didn’t like which drove me to quit and pursue developing a bike light that I designed at university and through photography.


What has photography done for you as a person? How has it changed you?

Photography has 100% changed the way that I look at everything. It’s made me get up and explore, driving for hours on end to see new places and meet new people.


What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t?

Live in a different country and experience new landscapes and culture.


For anyone that wants to get in touch with Elliot, here’s some contact information:

FStop: Profile

Website: www.elliotjsimpson.com

Instagram: @elliotjsimpson

500px: Profile

MM: Profile


Elliot, thank you so much for sharing your story with us!

If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Also, remember to download the FStop app for iPhone here!

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