Skip to main content

Talking pictures with photographer Chris Lemon

Chris with his photography tutor ChristinaSurrey Adult Learning met with Chris Lemon at the end of his advanced digital photography lesson at the Esher Centre to hear about his learning journey, including his achievement and progression since embarking on a digital photography course with Surrey Adult Learning in 2012.

How Chris got started

Chris started digital photography courses four years ago, initially as a hobby. He attended a DSLR course at the Woking Centre as a beginner where he learnt the basic functionality and the use of the camera and equipment.

As time passed, Chris became more curious to explore the wider range of shots and techniques that he could develop. He continued to follow courses in digital and creative photography that would allow him to combine technical skill with his flair to capture shots that were frequently unusual, unique and “different”.

Two chairs on Woking station platformWith his hobby progressing and his confidence growing, reinforced by the project work set by his tutor, Christina Praestgaard-Rossman, in Esher, Chris’ photography was taking off on a new direction.

For one such project Chris decided to study the activity of Woking train station and take pictures of an urban transport environment over a three week period, at varying times, under different weather conditions, on different days of the week and selecting varying imagery. The purpose of the task was to highlight an alternative perspective of the urban railway network. He asked for permission to shoot at Woking train station, and explained that it was part of his project work for his digital photography course with Surrey Adult Learning.

The Station Manager reviewed Chris’ pictures and was sufficiently impressed to call the South West Trains Commercial Media Manager in London and promote his work. This telephone call was to prove all changing for Chris...

His work with South West Trains

A network of train tracksHe was subsequently invited to show his portfolio of work to the Commercial Media Department in London and was contracted to produce subsequent commissions for South West Trains.

One commission was a brochure of pictures taken from the “drivers view”, in different locations and from different viewpoints that would be used as a media tool to target the TV and film industry.

The project brief was a challenge and Chris explained how he had to overcome the challenges of shooting pictures without facial imagery, the difficulty of working in busy crowds, passenger traffic at peak commuter times, crowds and standing on train platforms, forever hopeful, to capture “that shot”, amongst other things.

More recently, Chris was asked to create a station poster.

Chris on his tutor and Adult Learning

An old white iron train house at the side of the tracksChris spoke of his valued relationship with Christina, who is “inspirational” and a source of motivation. He spoke about the classroom experience – peer mentoring and critique and the benefits that this has provided to his photography. He highlighted the great working connection with his Tutor and that they had known each other for a few years now, as Chris has progressed from a beginner learner with a digital camera to a competent and most creative photographer.

He concluded by affirming that none of this success would have happened without the support and encouragement of Surrey Adult Learning.

See more of Chris' work

Black and white photo of chris taking a portrait photographMore recently, Chris has developed his own website in order to promote and showcase his beautiful photography:

He depicts urban transport environments but has equally expanded into architectural and structural imagery amongst other subjects.

Chris will be exhibiting a selection of his photographs at the Surrey Arts Open Studio, in Kingswood in June 2016.

The photographs accompanying this article are from a selection belonging to South West Trains, who kindly share their copyright of Chris’ work with Surrey Adult Learning.

Image one: Capturing a happy moment after class: Mr Lemon and his Tutor Christina Praestgaard-Rossman.

Images two, three and four: Some of Chris' excellent photography. Click on the thumbnails to expand the images.

Image five: Chris takes a picture