EACH week we profile a member of The Northern Echo's Camera Club. Today it's the turn of Ash Simpson, from Thornaby, Stockton

Who or what inspired you to take up photography?

I TOOK up photography because it frees my mind, I enjoy it and it's good for the soul. It helps me relax, think about our environment, the world we live in and the importance of others and our surroundings. It is can be good exercise, travelling, exploring and seeing different places. It is also a good way to socialise. My Uncle Matt, and friend Karl Bauer have been an inspiration to me. Their work is outstanding.

What was your first camera?

I WAS young and can't remember exactly – it was a 35mm film camera. I didn't even know how to load the film. My first DSLR was a Canon 550D. I regret selling this as it was great. I would still get one to this day.

Is there anything in particular you enjoy photographing?

I ENJOY photographing seascapes most because it's good to get fresh air, walking and seeing things in a different light at sunrise and sunset. The weather, lighting, tides and other elements are unpredictable. No photo is the same, there's lots of opportunities. It can also be quite dangerous and challenging depending on these circumstances, so there's a thrill factor as well.

Your favourite picture?

A SEASCAPE from Blackhall Rocks springs to mind. The lighting wasn't great in terms of colour from the sunrise but I was happy I got the composition how I wanted it.

Your go-to kit at the moment?

YASHICA Mat 124g. This is an old medium format camera manufactured between 1970 and 1986. I use it because it's unique, it produces amazing images due to the medium format film area – 6x6 which is bigger than a full frame DSLRs sensor.

Any advice for budding photographers?

THERE is no right or wrong. If someone likes or dislikes your work then you as an artist win every time. This is because you have made the viewer react in a certain way or feel the need to give critique and have an opinion to begin with. If you as an artist like it then it's good. Nothing else matters, do what makes you enjoy and makes you happy.