Gary Simper

Gary Simper is a relatively new member of Corio Bay Camera Club, having joined in July 2015 who has produced some great work in that time. While currently competing in “B” Grade, we suspect it won’t be long before he’s promoted to “A” Grade. Gary has provided us with a bit of information about himself and his photography.

Q: What is your photographic background?

A: My entry into the world of photography was just the usual snaps of family members at events, birthdays, Christmas, with some occasional scenery on holidays etc. The first camera I ever used was my father’s Kodak Junior 620 folding camera. I used this until late in my teens. My first 35mm camera was a Voigtlander Vito B, but never did any of my own film processing. Around the time I got engaged I bought my first SLR, an Asahi Pentax and switched to 35mm slides. While my children were growing up there were a couple of SLR upgrades, the last of which, after collecting dust for some time, was used as a trade-in for a Canon DSLR by my eldest daughter.

Because of my work with computers and engineering presentations the advent of digital cameras was what sparked my real interest in photography. I could now do a couple of things not possible before – process my own images and where necessary enhance them, plus manipulate and combine photos of existing equipment installations with proposed engineered improvements. I became very interested in digital imaging, but as more of a “technician” rather than an “artist” and started to collect a lot of gear along with books & magazines. It was seeing the work of the photographers in these magazines that made me realise I had a lot to learn, about what makes a great image, and wanted to get serious. My goal, for when I retired, was to do a couple of photography courses and join a camera club. I don’t have any particular style or preference for subjects at this stage, but I do like black & white images.

Q: What are your favourite subjects and/or locations?

A: To date my favourite subjects over the years have been my family, children then grandchildren. Now I am having a crack at everything – landscape, portraiture, macro, sports, table top, composite, still trying to establish my own style/speciality.(leaving it a bit late in life though…..). My favourite location would have to be our own Geelong surrounds particularly the waterfront.

Q: Who/What inspires you to go out and take photographs?

A: I am not overly imaginative but respond well to a challenge. The assignments through the courses and now the regular challenges through competition requirements are what I need to motivate me to get out and produce specific images. My early morning walks are another time to just take photographs of what I see. Also just to make good use of my toys, I don’t have a sports car or Harley Davidson, just cameras and computers and stuff (and there is also my competitive daughter to beat).

Q: What do you like to communicate through your photography?

A: Through my work any photography I did always had the need to communicate an idea or fact. Now I am more trying to communicate a feeling, emotion or a memory etc.

Q: What sort of gear do you use/have used in the past?

A: I have mentioned my old film cameras previously and that I have collected quite a bit of gear over my final working years. Currently I use Nikon for my “serious” work. D750 body with 26-35mm F4, 24-120mm F4, 70-200 F2.8, 50mm F1.8, 150-500 F5.6/6.3 lenses. These are heavy. For holidays and travel I use Olympus OMD EM-1 body with 14-40mm F2.8 and 40-150mm f2.8 lenses. Much lighter.

Q: What is your favourite piece of kit? – Why?

A: It’s difficult to choose because each piece has its particular use but for overall versatility, ease of use and quality of results technically it would have to be the Nikon D750 with the Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 lens. However my take everywhere camera is the Fuji X100-S

Q: Which of your images is/are your favourite(s)? – Why?

A: It would be easy to say that images that have won Club Competition Merits would be my favourites but not necessarily, some are but others I like are shown below….

Q: What do you think is your greatest photographic achievement?

A: It would have to be for taking out the club’s First Place award for “B” grade prints 2016.

Q: Is there anything you would like to improve in your photography?

A: Definitely!  There is still so much to learn but more than anything I need to improve my ability to see. I get frustrated that other photographers can see the potential of a great image in things that I have walked straight past.

Q: Do you have any favourite photographic books/magazines and/or websites?

A: Book – A 2008 DK publication “Digital Photography Masterclass” by Tom Ang. Also recently purchased – “The Photographers’s Eye” by Michael Freeman.  Magazines – “NPhoto” the Nikon monthly magazine and when issued “Creative Photography”.  Website – “”

Q: Is there any photographer that you particularly admire? Why?

A: Of the “old masters” I admire Ansel Adams. Not only because he lugged that great big piece of gear all over the countryside and produced magnificent photographs but also for his quotes, one of which is below and speaks to my personal striving.

“I am sure the next step will be the electronic image, and I hope I shall live to see it. I trust that the creative eye will continue to function, whatever technological innovations may develop.” – Ansel Adams

I admire the work of a couple of local photographers, without knowing much about the person themselves, whose ability to “see” and present images artistically is what I am envious of. One of those is fellow club member Jack Jansen and the other is Geelong Photographer Mick Kupresanin.

Here are some of Gary’s favourite images

Clockwork Orange – Because it was a real challenge, even to the point of trying to get a watch these days with mechanical movement.







Damp Autumn – Taken on a morning walk along the Yarra. One of the few images I actually “saw” before taking the photo.

Happy Day– Taken when I was the “candid” photographer for a wedding (my only one).

Para Glide – Waited for ages to get one of the para gliders going past my unit window in Merewether, while working in Newcastle.

Sandy Bottom – I love the beach, sun, surf, sand and pleased to see that I have passed on that love.

Sayanagorsk Village – Morning walk at 11:00am on a Sunday morning in Siberia (-22°C).

To Platform 3 – Filling in time waiting at the station for my wife, daughter and grandson to come home from a day shopping in Melbourne. Great afternoon light.

Travelling Muso – Plenty of buskers at The Rocks side of Circular Quay but this one, with his gear was just “asking” to be captured.

Trusting Eyes – Those eyes haunt me.

Walking in the Rain – Taken in Paris, a reminder of what our European holiday was like (21 wet days out of 26).

Wanna Play – A reflection on life – sometimes too pre-occupied to spend time with family.

Yachts – Again taken on a morning walk, reminding me what a great waterfront we have here in Geelong.