Having grown up in the desert, (Alice Springs, Central Australia), Simon Mariner could have fun with just a stick and some mud and would wonder why kids from the city would get bored so easily. His love for nature, exploration and the endless learning curve of photography and photo-editing, gives him the breather he needs from the "speeding train wreck we call life". He speaks to me about his love for creative learning.
I guess my creative specialty would be my photo editing. Often, I can't just let a photo be a simple photo. Each photo is unique and calls for itself to be it's own. I tend to often treat an image similar to a painting and over time build on an image. Creating has always been with me since I was young and drawing had previously been my craft. Birthday's or christmas presents may have been a picture drawn and I wasn't bad at it.
Tell me bit about yourself.
I live in Adelaide, Australia. I have been living here for 20 years or so and grew up in Central Australia, Alice Springs. I currently work full time in warehouse logistics and do photography in my spare time, so life is generally rather busy. I've been taking photographs for three years now and for me, it's a true passion. Always striving to improve my game of photography yet never feeling satisfied that I've reached my limits. Often I feel like it's only just begun. I love it purely as it seems like an endless learning curve and I get so much joy out of creating dynamic images. I entered the "Australian Amateur Photographer of the year 2015" competition and actually got a commendation on my "Nature photography". Since then all I've been doing is striving to better my craft.
For me, I get a real kick out of enjoying my photographs or seeing others enjoy photos of theirs that I've taken. I do love that it gets me out of the house and that I often get to experience events I wouldn't necessarily have been at or gone to. There is also the added bonus of a little exercise that's well needed. All this plus a constant learning curve is what gives me my passion.
As it's only been three years which feels like such a short time, I love taking photos of nearly everything. Mostly a genre of landscapes and people but I try to dabble in nearly everything, pushing my limits and seeing what I can and can't achieve. I'm always asked, "where do you want to go with your photography Simon"? But all I'm trying to do is enjoy the ride rather than think about the destination. Who knows where my photography journey will take me.
The style I'm offering I guess in a world where everyone carries a camera these days is my editing. This is something that can't be replicated, not even by myself sometimes, as each image calls for something entirely fresh and new. I constantly teach myself new techniques by following how-to-tutorials on the internet. I think over time, my eyes have changed ! As weird as that may sound, I see light, color and tone much better than when I had first started.
It means a time where I can get off this speeding train wreck we call life and take a breather. It's a place where my only focus is searching for my photo high and nothing else really exists. Just me, my camera and my computer. With all the negativity that exists today in our current world, this place where I like to create is one which only has room for positivity. A much better state of mind.
Just make sure that everything works, batteries are charged and my gear is clean. Not to mention I'll always do a scout of locations before the actual event so as to have a rough game plan on the day.
I guess, trying to interpret the best I can, what the client is looking for in an image. I then need to asses what my limits are and research the topic,share ideas and try to come up with a happy medium between the client and myself.
I'd say the number one thing is visualising. I research ideas and then try to come up with something tailored to the task. Often the simpler I make it, the more effective it is. Always sharing constantly the evolution of the image and my thought processes. When editing, I'll often do several different editing styles to compare and see what works best for each image. Doing this ensures that I'm getting the most out of it and also provides a range of choices for the direction I will ultimately take - whether it's mine or a clients task.
Firstly Mother Nature, yes she is without a doubt the most inspirational. Apart from that, it is the fellow photographers of the world I follow on 500px. Solid examples of my inspirations on 500px are: Георгий Чернядьев (Georgy Chernyadyev) for portraits and Dylan Toh & Marianne Lim for landscapes. There is an endless supply of inspiration on this website for me.
I did try some photography in my earlier days but the cost of film and developing was a big put off for me personally. Now technology with all it's advancements has done away with this cost and process and has made this hobby much more streamlined. The advancements in personal computers and monitors, being able to see your photo's in real time takes all the guess work out of the equation.
I guess the powers that be believe the benefits from culture and creativity are outweighed by the "problems at hand". I guess maybe a debt jubilee is a rational solution but being rational isn't what governments are about these days or that's how it comes across anyway.
Tough question ! I guess with current situations monetarily and environmentally, getting everyone involved in creative solutions in these pressing world problems would be a great start, maybe incentive driven. Thank goodness for the Elon Musks of the world who are able to a) Afford it and b) Have the imagination for new solutions.
I grew up in the desert, I could have fun with just a stick and some dirt. As kids we would come to the city and hear other kids complaining that there was nothing to do. My brother and I would stare at each other in disbelief that these kids were bored in a city. Today it kind of feels like nothing's changed, overloaded with things to do, imagination appears to have turned stale sometimes. This isn't always the case but I often see and hear about this. I am a firm believer that boredom sets into the boring mind.
The photo does all the talking. An example of not a lot of editing.
I was so tired at the end of this day and thought I ruined this photo, the light had nearly dissipated. Tried this color and this is something I would happily put on my wall.
Tranquility- Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
I really enjoyed this composition but I shot this in the middle of the day and the lighting was terrible. So I made this a black and white image and added color. Straight away I knew this worked so well. It reminded me of something Japanese, like a bonsai with a cherry blossom color.
See more of Simon's work here.