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Lee Frost Photography

About

I’m a Yorkshire-born photographer currently hiding in Cornwall.

Other than a stint labouring for a landscape gardener a long time ago, photography is the only job I’ve ever had. It’s still my hobby too, and that’s the important bit. The fact that my hobby has paid the bills for the past 30 years is something I am eternally grateful for.

If you want to give me a label, it would be ‘travel’ photographer, simply because the majority of my photographs are taken when I’m 'somewhere else'. During busy periods (usually 9 months out of 12) I’m rarely at home for more than a couple of weeks at a stretch and live a semi-nomadic existence in which my suitcase never quite gets unpacked and the mountain of unprocessed Raw files just gets bigger.

Friends say ‘Oh, don’t worry – at least you’ll have plenty to do when you retire’. Retire? I’ve barely got started.

Even though I’ve been working 100% digitally for 12 years now, I’m a photographer, not a computer nerd. I much prefer to be outdoors behind a camera than indoors chained to my Apple Mac. Post processing is a means to an end so I like to keep it to a minimum. I apply the same principle to equipment too these days, and my back is so much better for it!

Gear

  • Canon EOS 5Ds
  • Canon EOS 5D MKIII for back-up
  • Canon EOS 5D infrared conversion
  • Apple iPhone XS Max (and Hipstamatic app)
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 L IS
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
  • Lee Filters ND grads (hard and soft)
  • 67mm, 77mm and 105mm Polarising filters
  • 6, 10 and 15 stop ND filters
  • Novo Explora T10 tripod and RRS BH-40 ball head for travel
  • Gitzo GT3542LS tripod and RRS BH-55 ball head for landscapes
  • Platypod Max (when tripods aren't permitted)

If you're not bored yet, you can read more of my story here.

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My mother bought me my first camera for Christmas in 1981 - a Russian Zenith EM SLR. I’ve been obsessed with photography pretty much ever since.

It was never meant to be a career. But I quickly realised that I wasn’t cut out for a ‘proper’ job, so after ditching my civil engineering degree, and with no Plan B, I started to submit photographs to Amateur Photographer and Camera Weekly. Most of them landed back on my doormat, accompanied by a polite ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you’ note, but being the stubborn Northerner I was, and still am, I persisted. Eventually, the occasional image started to appear in print and if that wasn’t reward enough, I even got paid. Realising that if I could repeat this process often enough, my ambition of earning a living without actually having a proper job might become a reality, I started to take photography a little more seriously.

My ‘big break’, if that’s what you can call it, came in 1988. Having Interrailed through Europe to Istanbul with a mate the previous year, I entered a portfolio of travel images into a competition run by SLR Photography magazine and by some minor miracle, I won. The prize was a week on location in Turkey shooting the SunMed Go Turkey holiday brochure with a professional travel photographer. I had a ball – and as much Fuji Velvia as I could shoot. Six months later, I was offered a job as features writer on the very same magazine, having never had a word published in my life, or even applied for the job. 

Maybe they spotted something I missed, because I took to writing about photography like a duck to water. Rising rapidly through the editorial ranks, I was part of a small team that launched and produced the highly-successful Photo Answers magazine. Within two years I was assistant editor of Practical Photography magazine, in the days when ‘PP’ was selling over 100,000 copies a month.

A successful career in publishing seemed inevitable, except for one small problem – I didn’t want one. So at the ripe young age of 25, still naive enough to think that I could scrape a living while romancing the two loves of my life - taking photographs, and writing about taking photographs ­- I handed in my notice and jumped head first into a freelance career. That was in April 1992.

Almost three decades, 20 books, thousands of magazine articles and hundreds of thousands of images later, I’m still managing to hang on in there. Unlike my hair. My photographs are marketed by various libraries including Robert Harding and Getty Images (though ‘stock’ photography is something I’ve never taken as seriously as I should). For the last 20 years I’ve also been leading sell-out photography workshops and tours around the UK and the globe, passing on my passion to like-minded souls who pay good money to be deprived of sleep in pursuit of the perfect image.

After so long at this game, you’d imagine I’d be getting a bit bored by now. But here’s the thing. I’m more inspired, more excited and more committed to making photographs now than ever before. And those photographs are better for it. The next bend in the road, the next hill, the next sunrise or sunset, the next county or country. There’s always the next ‘something’ to get me out of bed in the morning and keep me awake at night.

But the best part of all is, it sure as hell beats working for a living!

Lee Frost

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