Not only a talented photographer, Simon always engages with my workshop clients in a thoughtful and professional manner. His love for the photographic medium is clearly evident both in his discussions and his images.

By Jason Friend

Scottish Highlands, Loch Lochy. Jason Friend

 These are the kind words of good mate and great photographer, Jason Friend. Jason is an award winning freelance photographer and writer based in the North East of England, when hes not traveling all over the world that is, and for the last 3 years has been passing on some his vast experience and knowledge via locally based workshops. These workshops are set up and aimed mainly at the beginner to intermediate photographer and based around teaching people to use their cameras, tripods, accessories.

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The BIG Stopper

     I recently had another birthday and my good lady, as usual, bought me a few items of camera gear, what a lucky guy I am! Not only did I receive camera equipment, but I have a good woman who doesn’t mind purchasing said items for me!

     At the time of my birthday LEE Filters had just announced, at the Focus-On-Imaging show, their new 10stop glass ND filter. Now I’d been looking for and thinking about a 10stop filter for quite some time, specifically the B&W screw-in. The main reason I hadn’t taken the plunge and picked a B&W up is that I currently use the LEE filter holder system and frankly using screw-in filters with this system is just a real pain in the behind. Now I like the LEE holder, its simple, quick and easy to use, but adding a screw-in before this and it just isn’t enjoyable due to the fact that you can’t access the screw-in filter because of the adaptor ring . So I was more than pleased when I saw the announcement about the slot in filter and even had a chuckle over the name: The LEE BIG Stopper!

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The first post…..


But more importantly the first ever photo on the blog!

     The weather had been looking good for the past few days and I thought I’d head along to St.Marys lighthouse in Tynemouth, on the North East Coast, for a sunset. I was hoping for some wonderful colours, cracking clouds and a little bit of inspiration thrown in just for good luck! Well, the colours kind of came, but there was no sign of the clouds, so it was just down to just good old inspiration and good luck!


St.Marys Light house

St.Marys Lighthouse, North East Coast. UK


     As luck would have it the tide was just on its way out and due to the cracking weather people had started to head down to the coast. Now usually photographers tend to want to have the place to themselves and the last thing they’re after is the general public posing in front of the lens. This is when the light came on and the inspiration hit home and off I head down to the causeway and the crowds. The idea was to add a few blured people into a long exposure shot to add a sense of scale and activity on this wonderful spring evening on the coast. I positioned myself on the causeway and began to setup my shot, I added a 3stop ND filter to slow down the exposure and a 3stop Hard ND for the sky and started shooting.

     I think the moral of this little story is that sometimes you have to use all these different situations to there best and on this evening the crowds of people were a blessing! This is something I’m begining to learn more and more!