Meet Simeon. He's not one for the spotlight or being the centre of attention; you won't hear him mouthing off or talking anyone down but you will see him smiling, riding bikes, taking photos and just being a genuinely friendly, nice guy. What better sort of person to contribute to SPOKE? If you've read the mag, you've seen his work. You know all the crystal clear, perfectly lit product shots? Yup, mostly his. And images from some of the most idyllic riding spots in the country? Yup, lots of those are his too.
Simeon's work isn't all dirt, bikes and bush though. It's his commercial work which really pays the bills, along with a budding modelling career (sorry mate, couldn't resist).
Ladies and gents, Simeon Patience.....
Name: Simeon Patience
Where are you from originally and where are you based now? I've lived in Auckland all my life. Moved from east to central after uni.
Best thing about living where you do? This is where my family and work is, I guess it's what I know. And I’m comfortable here.
Worst thing about living there? Good mountain biking is a long drive away.
What’s your day job? I'm a photographer.
What motivates you to get out of bed every day and go to work? Well that’s tricky. I want to say because it inspires me, but that’s the cliché answer all photographers give. So I'm going to say it's because of the potential for something good to pop up that day (job-wise that is).
How’d you get into photography? From an early age (at high school) I had a camera and loved capturing action on it.
Why photography? I love getting my images published, but it's the process I love also.
What would you do if you couldn’t take photos any more ? I love food so I think I'd be a chef. Look out Jamie Oliver.
Most interesting subject you’ve shot? Ken Block of Gymkhana fame. And A BMW x5 ...very fast! What’s your current setup for shooting MTB? If I'm out riding on a day ride to shoot I'll take my camera bag which is a backpack and it’ll have my 1ds Mk III with a fisheye lens, 70-200mm or a 50mm lens, also chuck a few flashes in there. It really depends on what I feel like shooting or if I know what to expect or not. But if I'm shooting a spot, either a street spot or at some jumps I'll take all my lighting gear, that ends up being a back breaking task.
What's your favourite item of photography gear? I guess one doesn’t exist without the other. Camera/lens, computer/software, lighting/subject. So I'd have to say my old film camera, it's a Bronica SQ ai. Got any tips for young budding photogs? Digital is amazing for learning quickly, so just get out there and shoot lots. Try new things and shoot what you enjoy shooting, be it your mum's friends or your buddies on their bikes. You get gifted $8000 – do you buy a new bike or new camera gear? What sort would it be? Ooow tricky, seeing as this year I've had two new rides, it would be a camera. However your $8000 offer would need to doubled to get the camera I want, is that something you can do? Double your money and come back to me.
Favourite thing about riding your bike? When I don’t have my camera on my back, which isn't often. That's a great feeling hitting my favourite trails, it just means I don’t have to stop and set up and can relax and focus on my bike and the ride. Otherwise my mind is just looking for something to shoot all the time.
Least favourite thing about riding bikes? Well feeling unfit and getting beat by Caleb up a hill! Love your work Caleb! (Note: he will always beat me down the hills.)
What's your favourite trail to ride and why? Recently I rode Waihaha hut on the western side of Lake Taupo, it's a three to four hour mish. It's singletrack in and out of native forest, that always blows me away. You ride up above the river for a good chunk of the ride, just beautiful really.
What are you most looking forward to over the Christmas period? Well Japan is the destination, need I say any more. When you aren't out slaying trails or taking photos what are you generally doing? It's crazy, I feel like work takes up a lot of time so the valuable time I have left is generally eating food I cook, or hanging with my amazing girlfriend. What’s your current bike setup? It's a Turner 5spot with a Fox fork and Crankbrothers wheels, and Crankbrothers dropper post to boot, pure joy on the trails! Also have a carbon Avanti Quantum, but that’s for the road bro. Music to work to? Whatever turns up over the speakers from a myriad of iTunes on the network. Right now it's The Hives.
Music to ride to? The Walkmen, The National, Spoon, Chemical Brothers. That’ll do.
Complete this sentence. “On Saturdays I like to get up and.... make ricotta hotcakes”