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BEHIND THE LENS

Hello. My name is Simon Leigh (Sy to my friends’ which includes you). I am 41 years young and have been following my heart through this fantastic journey of photography for a little over 20 years.

I started out all of them years ago as a young lad who really couldn’t get enough of the great outdoors. Day after day, night after night, morning after morning. Whenever the opportunity would present itself, I would be out and about, usually found somewhere around the Wirral coastline, mesmerised and just in complete awe of what was going on around me.

Not one for letting the weather bother me, I would be out in all conditions, and all times of the day and night, just waiting in anticipation of what mother nature had in store for me on any given occasion.

Wirral really is quite renowned for its fantastic sunsets, and as a twenty-year-old lad, I would regularly visit our many beauty spots with my then-best four-legged friend Barney. Together we would walk for miles each evening, at one with nature and with an end goal in mind, usually somewhere directly opposite one of our phenomenal sunsets to sit together and understand the real meaning of gratitude. During my younger years, I can honestly say that we witnessed hundreds, if not thousands, of spectacular endings to each one of our fantastic seasonal days. With first-hand experience of how much of a positive effect these times can have on one’s mental well-being I had decided to start trying to capture these moments in the way of a photograph with my mobile phone to try an at least share these occasions with the people closest to me, and the photographer inside me was born.

Twenty-plus years later and my love for this phenomenal pastime is as strong as it ever was. Still a regular visitor to the same spots, but unfortunately, now without Barney as sadly, we had to say our goodbyes (until we meet again, old friend, rest in peace) but with a wealth of experience and years of trial and error behind me, I am now in possession of a full collection of images that I can honestly say I am more than proud of. Being my own ‘worst critique’ over the years, I would often take hundreds of images as that young lad, trying to capture perfection only to get home and still not be impressed with any of them. What I had witnessed appeared at times to be impossible to recreate with my phone camera, so I was always looking to upgrade to the next best piece of affordable kit to perfect my technique.

Night after night, I would ask myself questions, how could I improve, what could I do better, and where was I going wrong? It was these very techniques that led me to where I am today, and I can genuinely say I don’t think there’s any better way to learn. With huge amounts of upgrades and kit evolving massively each year, I am now in a very confident position of knowing and understanding exactly what is going on and what needs doing to create that perfect image each time I’m out photographing our fabulous peninsula. With the introduction of my Facebook page many years ago, I was now able to start showing my images to not just those close to me but also now to people further afield. It didn’t take long for my work to literally go worldwide, and within months I was receiving some fantastic messages from people as far as New Zealand, Canada, India and South America, with Thankyous from ex-pats to art enthusiasts wanting to be involved. I’m now in a very fortunate position to have a following of some fantastic people who have guided and spurred me on, and I really can’t thank these enough. My work is now displayed through international and local galleries and regularly on my Facebook page. I can honestly say I am more than grateful to each and every person for any amount of involvement that you may have had along the way, from those that purchase images to those that help with setting up exhibitions or even if it’s just a thumbs up on Facebook, my love for you all is immense.

Pictured above: Sy ready for action
Pictured below: Barney, gone but not forgotten

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