Simon Hadleigh-Sparks is one of our top photographers, and a much-loved member of the Photocrowd community. In this post, he tells us a little about his background, and gives us an insightful look into capturing beautiful architecture from below, shooting clean angles - and then making it all come together through post-processing.
"As an amateur photographer, I'm constantly drawing inspiration from the city around me. A major thrill of urban exploration for me is its ability to open up a new perspective on the city. When out photographing on the city streets I always try and remember to look up - a lot of my work shows eye catching angles, clean lines, architectural design and lots of symmetry, something I'm passionate about as it makes an image ‘pleasing’ to the eye drawing you in and the results offer a dynamic new look on the structures that make up the London skyline.
I want my photos to stand out, be different, be looked at and hopefully liked. I continue to develop my ideas, sometimes going to the very edge of photographic art and what an image can be transformed into. My images draw your attention, they need to stand out in a world where anyone can take a picture - especially in one of the most photographed cities in the world!
I have a mixture of styles but lean heavily towards urban/city photography and modern architecture. It's positive comments from followers that encourage me to develop and experiment further with my work. People like the weird or the different, and I develop on that and give them what they want. In the early days I was torn between straight out of the camera photography or processed images - I would love to have the perfect image straight out of the camera, but that just isn't me, and is not what I'm known for. I need a feature, a twist, an angle, an effect, something unusual, unique, whilst staying true to the original location. The results offer a dynamic new look on the structures that make up the London above.
It's in post-production where the photos really come alive as I experiment with different techniques to create eye-catching images. I want you to see a new vision of some of the most photographed icons of current modern architecture in London, as well as the run-down and unloved given a fresh sense of beauty.
Now in my early 40s I came to photography quite late in life. I have always had an artistic flair but never found the platform to show this off. My drawing was never more than stickmen and my stories were always in my head and never quite made it to paper. My photographs are my stories and I am now at a point in my life where I can express myself through this medium. I never thought I was good at anything but after a number of international awards I guess I'm going in the right direction.
While living in London I developed a love of buildings, architecture and modernism. I am not afraid to say that The Walkie Talkie is a gorgeous building. One of my favourite pastimes is to be driven around the city with my camera out of the window snapping away. This way of photographing almost always creates great angles."