Simon Bourne is a north London landscape and wildlife photographer with a wide portfolio of striking images. He has been a keen amateur photographer for over 50 years and has enjoyed the new digital age of imagery since 2009. From 2011 onwards, when he sold his civil engineering consultancy, he has worked more like a semi-professional photographer.
Based in Muswell Hill, he enjoys the fine balance between the artistic challenges of the shot and the technical skills needed to get the best out of the image, both in-camera and in Lightroom/Photoshop afterwards.
To produce photographs that can be readily sold essentially requires images that most others simply cannot produce - this means putting in the time and effort to capture the unusual events in the very best lighting conditions. So, waiting for the right moment and the best, or most unusual, lighting conditions are features of Simon’s photography. The golden hours around sunrise and sunset often offer the most dramatic lighting conditions, as do the blue hours! On top of those features, Simon concentrates on long exposures for landscapes and very short exposures for wildlife - again, both of which need time, effort and the right equipment, and which cannot be caught on an iPhone!
While trying to capture the best photograph in-camera alone is always the goal, the vast majority of all images will benefit from the subtle adjustments in tone that are possible on the computer afterwards.
As with any area of life, one needs a modicum of skill and a lot of hard work to achieve the best results – and most importantly, one needs a passionate desire to get the best overall shot with the finest of details.
Many of the featured garden photographs are of gardens designed by Simon's wife, Jilayne Rickards, Garden Designer. Jilayne is one of the relatively few registered Members of the Society of Garden Designers (MSGD) and is also based in Muswell Hill – for further details of her work, see her website at www.jilaynerickards.com. Jilayne designed a Space to Grow garden at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show - see her website for full details of both the garden and the wonderful charity, CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education), for which she has done it. Not only did she win an RHS Gold Medal, but she also won the RHS/BBC People's Choice Award - not bad for a first ever show garden! The garden has now been re-built at the wonderful Eden Project in Cornwall, with a million people expected to see it in the first year alone - it's in the Mediterranean Biome.
Simon and Jil’s eldest son, Joe Bourne, is a professional underwater diver, photographer and videographer, now working in the film industry, mainly at Pinewood studios - see his website at www.jtbourne-photography.com
For further details of how to purchase large, high-quality prints and other images, see the Contact and Sales page. Alternatively, you can purchase images from his portfolio page at the stock photo agency, Alamy (Simon Bourne at alamy.com).
Simon has always been a Nikon user and currently his main kit is a full-frame (FX DSLR) D810 camera, the fabulous cropped-sensor (DX DSLR) D500 and a D7100 camera (also DX). He tends to use the D810 for landscapes/cityscapes and gardens, the D500 for wildlife (due to its extra reach and speed) and the D7100 as a back-up or street photography camera.
His main lenses on the D810 are the superb 16-35mm f/4 wide angle, the 24mm f/1.8 prime, the fabulously versatile 24-70mm f/2.8, the fast standard 50mm f/1.4 prime and a recently acquired macro lens, the incredible 105mm f/2.8. On the D500, he uses two wonderfully sharp lenses, the 70-200mm f/4 telephoto and the 200-500mm f/5.6 super-telephoto. His D7100 now generally has the 35mm f/1.8 prime in place.
He also uses Manfrotto carbon fibre tripods/monopods and a range of Lee filters for landscape shots (polarising and ND). He doesn't use the rather antiquated ND grads; preferring to blend two images, if necessary, in Photoshop. His D810 has such a wide dynamic range though, that this blending process is rarely required. For studio work, or poor light, he uses two Nikon SB-700 Speedlights, Westcott soft boxes and Lastolite reflectors. He uses Adobe CC for post-processing, with Lightroom Classic as the main tool for all his photographs, which is supplemented by Photoshop for the final work on all production images that go for sale.