Who am I?

As the web address suggests, I’m Simon Rishton. When I’m working, I am a freelance Vision Engineer.  The rest of the time I do a lot of things involving Dandie Dinmont Terriers – walking them, feeding them, cleaning up after them, and running a website and club magazine about them.  And all the time I’m the father of two and husband of one.

What’s a Vision Engineer? You know roughly what a sound engineer does?  Well, a Vision Engineer does similar things with pictures.  I control the technical quality of what comes out of television cameras, from exposure and colour balance to the subtleties of gamma curves and detail levels.  I control video recording and replay equipment.  I make video effects work so well that you don’t notice they’re there.  And I fix it when it all goes wrong.

Where do I work? I work for several companies in many different places.  I make soaps – Coronation Street in Manchester and Emmerdale in Leeds.  I do other studio work such as Countdown and The Jeremy Kyle Show at the Granada Studios in Manchester.  I do a lot of horse racing television, mostly these days for SIS Live, from all over Britain (I have worked at fifty nine of the sixty racecourses – just Newton Abbot to complete the set), and occasionally other sports Outside Broadcasts.  And now I’m starting to get a lot of work such as Football Focus and Match Of The Day at MediaCityUK on Salford Quays.

How did I start? I joined the BBC as a Technical Assistant in 1982.  Went through various training courses at the BBC’s Wood Norton training centre.  Worked in various BBC departments, both maintenance and operations, before settling down as a studio vision engineer.  Then I was made redundant, and set up as a freelance.  Since then, I’ve broadened my horizons to fit into a very different broadcasting industry.