Photographer Creates Photos Inspired by Vintage Film Images.

Simon-McCheung-umbrella.jpg
(Photo by Simon McCheung)

Simon McCheung, a UK self-taught photographer makes whimsical images bending reality and fantasy to create something that undoubtedly will end up as a poster in a college dorm room. They have that same kind of M.C. Escher or Salvador Dali fantastical quality about them that inspires dreamers and thinkers. 

Sarah Ann Loreth did a really interesting interview and story on Simon for MY MODERN MET recently. Here are some excerpts along with some of Simon's work: 


Can you tell us a bit about your journey into photography?

As a teen, painting was my creative outlet, but I never carried that through because of living space limitations within the city of London. When I took on a job located in the English countryside of the Midlands, a work colleague introduced me to his new DSLR. I instantly got hooked on this new creative outlet.

Simon-McCheung-airplanes.jpg
(Photo by Simon McCheung)


You are a self-taught photographer, how did you go about learning how to take and process photos?

I purchased my DSLR on a whim, and my knowledge of camera settings were almost non-existent. I knew I wanted certain qualities for my images, so it was just a case of looking up the basics online and a lot of trial and error by shooting every day. The challenge is understanding your lighting in the environment, and then quickly switching your aperture and speed accordingly.

I also feel that shooting with real props within the shot rather than super-imposing these later in post-production gives a far more believable quality to the overall image. So whenever I can, I will try to find ways to 'smoke and mirror' in the actual shot and I've resorted to research into old cinema tricks that give that sort of charm to the image, such as Le Voyage Dans La Lune by George Méliès. 

Simon-McCheung-alice.jpg
(Photo by Simon McCheung)


Your portfolio is full of stories and surreal themes, what inspires your creative process?

With my older work I drew inspiration from childhood day dreams, emotional memories, and my love of the Renaissance art period. My process for these images were planned out beforehand. I would put the idea down on paper, and then search for props and a suitable location.

The process of my more recent work is more inward. The location and whatever objects are at hand become the creative initiation for my stories. I think my process evolved because I became more aware of my surroundings. And so I can better notice, appreciate, and reap the benefits of nature's stage.

Simon-McCheung-alice2.jpg

(photo by Simon McCheung)

How do you choose your models?

I tend to choose models who feel more natural as actors than posers. I want my images to feel very believable, like a still from a film. This is so the audience can relate to the image, even when it's particularly surreal.

Check out the full article on MY MODERN MET to see more of Simon's work.