© Simon Owens. 2015 

About Me 

My interest in photography has been inspired by my love of the outdoors, growing up I always had an interest in nature and adventure and in my twenties, I was lucky enough to explore the natural world when I joined the military. The time I started my military career in the mid-1990's was between the Iraq Wars and before Afghanistan, so a lot of effort was still spent on exercises and tours in interesting places. As part of my role I was taught how to use a camera to gather intelligence, and whilst on operations in Sierra Leone and during an exercise in Kenya I was able to have some freedom in taking photographs of the continent. Sierra Leone was interesting as a documentary photographer, getting close and being able to witness the aftermath of a civil war was both illuminating and exhilarating. Whereas Kenya offered a more peaceful role, where I was able to explore wildlife and landscape photography within the large game parks. After a full year in Africa, I was left with a burning passion for adventure and photography. 

 

 

This period really sparked my interest in photography, but it was after leaving the military where I was really able to experiment. Mainly using Nikon Equipment and Lenses, my first camera was a Nikon D100 digital SLR and a move from the film medium that I was used too. Using traditional formats of photography of 3:2 and 5:4 ratios I began to explore the mountains of England and feed my need for adventure, spending most weekends in the Lake District.  

 

Over time, and some 2o years later, with the occasional breaks from photography, I find myself drawn to the panoramic format of photography and mountains. There is something extra special about how I feel in mountainous terrain and how I visualise the bigger scenes of landscape photography, in recent years I have been fortunate to explore further afield in Iceland and the Italian Dolomites and feel privileged to be able to travel to these parts of the world to photograph them. I honestly feel that the best way to tell the stories of what I see is the format of panoramic photography. 

 

I have always exclusively used the Nikon system for my work, but I have recently made a switch to Sony following an accident that broke the Nikon. After reviewing my options I didn't feel that Nikon's mirrorless was ready for the investment with it being a new launch at the time, the D850 was an obvious choice to an upgrade and a worthy contender. But the technology and innovation that Sony has been leading on swayed me, and I bit the bullet. Shooting panoramic format involves a lot of vision; as with modern technology you cant see the whole image until it is completed in software. Gone are the days of heavy film cameras in this format where you could see and take the image in front of you through the camera, as we are now truly in the digital age of technology. Panoramic photography lets me show how I visualise the mountains; with the panoramic format it really allows how the eyes would naturally see a landscape. Providing a sense perspective that normal formats cannot. To that end they usually look fantastic in print, they certainly don't belong on small screens, social media or the Internet. Although nice to look at on your screen, it is when you see them on paper in a frame when they really take presence.  

 

 

Current Equipment 

Nikon D600 & D610 (both now broke and redundant)

Sony A7iii 

Sony 24-105 mm f4

Nikon to Sony adapter 

Nikon 18-35 mm Lens 

Nikon 24 mm Lens

Tamron 70-210 mm f4 Lens 

Gitzo Mountaineer Series Tripod 

Kood Tripod Head & Panoramic Mount