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This profile was last updated on 4/12/11  and contains information from public web pages.

Simon Watkinson

Wrong Simon Watkinson?
 
Background

Employment History

  • Director
    The Peak Photo Centre
  • Tutor
    Photo Tours
  • Award Winning Photographer
    The Spout Farmhouse Studio
  • Position In Photo Training
    The Spout Farmhouse Studio
  • Position In Photography
    The Spout Farmhouse Studio

Board Memberships and Affiliations

81 Total References
Web References
Peak Photo Centre's ...
derbyshire.greatbritishlife.co.uk, 12 April 2011 [cached]
Peak Photo Centre's Simon Watkinson Peak Photo Centre's Simon Watkinson | Derbyshire Life
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When Simon Watkinson decided to take the plunge by leaving his job as a professional photographic printer in London, he was well aware that there were no guarantees that he would stay afloat financially when he relocated to the Peak District. However, as a natural risk-taker with a taste for adventure, he was more than happy to make the move. Eleven years on from this life-changing decision, he is living his dream in a remote farmhouse in the heart of the national park.
Testing my satellite navigation system to its limit, I travelled to meet Simon at his isolated house in order to discover the secret of his successful relocation. We began our conversation by talking about one of his earlier life-changing moves. Simon has loved taking photographs since childhood, but he began his working life as a maker of musical instruments. Although this job fitted in quite nicely with his passion for music, he soon found that he was spending much of his spare time taking photographs and processing them in his own dark room. At the age of 21, he decided that it was time to convert his hobby into a job.
Despite being entirely self-taught, Simon managed to obtain a post as a photographer with a food research company in Surrey and spent the next four years 'taking arty shots of everything from food packaging to company directors in their offices and cows in fields'. After this valuable experience as a taker of images, he switched to a job that involved developing photographs for a printing company that ran the largest professional processing laboratory in Europe.
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The house was available for rent to anyone who could prove that they would use it for a rural business, and when Simon saw the farm's dilapidated 300-year-old barn with its mezzanine and exposed rafters, he knew that it had the potential to become a terrific photographic studio.
A new business plan began to form in his mind: he would set up a digital studio and use Spout Farm as the base for courses in digital, wedding and landscape photography. Participants would stay in local hostelries, receive instruction at Spout Farm and then try out their photographic skills in the beautiful countryside surrounding his home.
As well as winning over the Peak District National Park Authority with his plans, Simon managed to obtain grants from the Rural Regeneration Programme and the Environmental Economy Grant Scheme. As soon as his new venture was advertised on the web, people began arriving from all over the country to learn new skills whilst enjoying the delights of the Peak District.
Even though digital photography was in its infancy at that time and somewhat frowned upon by the purists, Simon made a decision from the start to work exclusively in the digital mode. One again, his risk-taking paid off. For a time, his enterprise was the only one in the country offering digital courses. As a result, business boomed and he was soon looking for extra premises in Buxton where he could establish a portrait studio and a state-of-the-art computer room with a series of workstations.
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Lightroom and digital imaging courses have proved to be very popular and the recession has actually increased business for Simon, because many people who have been made redundant are looking to photography as a new career. This also applies to people leaving the armed forces and returning to civilian life.
Although there is no shortage of photographers who are keen to practise their skills as landscape photographers in the Peak District, the minibus that stands in the grounds of Spout Farm is also available to take groups on regular courses to the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. Seasonal locations for those interested in wildlife photography include Lyme Park during the rutting season, when students can take 'behavioural shots of stags as they strut their stuff'; the Lincolnshire coast in December, when the seals come ashore to give birth to their pups, and Skomer Island in late May, when there are great opportunities to take photographs of puffins.
Simon even organises 'Classic Journeys' to far flung destinations, where he can not only provide his students with fabulous subjects, but also exercise his own considerable skills as a photographer. His Moroccan tour provides opportunities to capture an exotic mix of European and African influences, and his Indian tour includes visits to shrines and palaces, as well as the world's largest camel fair at Pushkar.
Simon is planning to add Namibia to his portfolio, because it will provide subjects ranging from shifting sand dunes and dramatic mountains to wildlife in the bush and grasslands, but Nepal continues to be his preferred tour destination. He says, 'It is my favourite country on the entire planet: it contains eight of the world's ten highest mountains, a world heritage site in Kathmandu Valley and a multitude of wonderful temples and shrines.'
Although Simon's sense of adventure has contributed to the development of his business, it is his willingness to take risks and his entrepreneurial skills that have ensured its success. He now shares Spout Farm with his new partner Tammy, who also acts as his business manager, and the couple have a young child. With a thriving business and a house in an idyllic location, Simon is understandably pleased with his life in the Peak District. 'It's peaceful and safe here,' he says. 'Wild horses wouldn't drag me back to London.'
Art Features - Arts | Derbyshire Life
derbyshire.greatbritishlife.co.uk [cached]
Peak Photo Centre's Simon Watkinson
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Mike Smith meets photographer Simon Watkinson who relocated from London 11 years ago and now runs specialist courses from his Peak District home
Photography, Photographic Tour, Travel Photography, Nepal Photo tour
www.classicjourneys.co.uk, 4 Mar 2006 [cached]
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER SIMON WATKINSON (ABIPP) WILL BE YOUR GUIDE & TUTOR STUNNING PHOTOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS & PLENTY OF TIME FOR TUITION AND TUTORING
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Tour Leader: Simon Watkinson (ABIPP)
Classic Journeys have teamed up with professional photographer, Simon Watkinson (ABIPP) to offer you a unique opportunity to visit and photograph one of the most spectacular countries in the world, Nepal. Simon will be your photographic guide and tutor. Having visited Nepal many times, he knows the country extremely well and with his 25 years experience of professional photography there will be plenty of time for tuition along the way.
Landscape Photography Courses- Improve Your Landscape Photography | World In Focus Photography Training
www.world-infocus.co.uk, 1 April 2014 [cached]
Then, Simon will transport you to some of the beautiful photographic locations throughout the Peak District National Park.
During the days photography tuition, you learn all you wish to know about taking beautiful landscapes and optimising your camera use. For beginners we concentrate on camera use, use of aperture and shutter, f stops, depth of field etc. as well as composition. For those more advanced we concentrate on composition and photography tecnhique. Simon Watkinson is an experienced and professional photographer who will be on hand to guide you every step of the way.
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Then, Simon will transport you to some of the beautiful photographic locations throughout the Peak District National Park.
During the 2 days you learn all you wish to know about taking beautiful landscapes and optimising your camera use. For beginners we concentrate on camera use, use of aperture and shutter, f stops, depth of field etc. as well as composition. For those more advanced we concentrate on composition and photography tecnhique. Simon Watkinson is an experienced and professional photographer who will be on hand to guide you every step of the way.
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Then, Simon will transport you to some of the beautiful photographic locations throughout the Peak District National Park.
During days 1 and 2, you learn all you wish to know about taking beautiful landscapes and optimising your camera use. For beginners we concentrate on camera use, use of aperture and shutter, f stops, depth of field etc. as well as composition. For those more advanced we concentrate on composition and photography technique. Simon is an experienced and professional photographer who will be able to guide you every step of the way.
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landscape photography workshop sunrise in the peak district by Simon Watkinson
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The prices for all Landscape based courses include tuition from Simon, course notes and transport.
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Your tutor, Simon Watkinson is a highly experienced Photographer and tutor and is sympathetic to the needs of those starting out into Digital Photography- be it you are switching over from film or this is your very first DSLR camera. We understand that in group situations some guests may be unwilling to ask questions, due to shyness. Our philosophy to teaching is being proactive and Simon will rally round you, ensuring you are understanding every step of the course. However at some points throughout the day, we will allow you freedom to venture out and develop your own creativity. Simon is a fully qualified Associate member of the British Institute of Professional Photography.
Operating from a well equipped premises ...
peakphotocentre.com, 16 May 2007 [cached]
Operating from a well equipped premises in Buxton, the directors Simon and Elaine Watkinson, run seventy courses a year, all of which have the seal of approval from the British Institute of Professional Photographers.
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Simon Watkinson, ABIPP has 20 years of experience in professional photography and will be the photographic guide on this tour.
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Simon Watkinson, the director of the Peak District Photography Centre, will be your photographic guide and tutor.Having visited Nepal many times, he knows the country extremely well and can provide you with the most stunning locations captured at the right time of day.
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Simon Watkinson, the director of the Peak District Photography Centre, will be your guide.Having visited Nepal many times, he knows the country extremely well and can provide you with the most stunning locations captured at the right time of day.
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Simon Watkinson from the Peak District Photography Centre will advise all group members regarding what photography equipment to take.
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