Behind the lens with Budleigh photographer Barbara
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:13 27 November 2017
Featured iwitness24 photographer - Barbara Mellor.
Barbara Mellor shares some of her favourite pictures from her career as a photographer.
Taken in May 2009, I have often returned to Blackbury Camp at bluebell time but I have never yet managed to take another photograph I like as much as this one.
My interest in photography started in 1953 when I went to work as secretary to a commercial photographer in Buckinghamshire who specialised in fashion, advertising and industrial photography. Soon my time in the office diminished in favour of helping him in the studio, darkroom and out on assignments. Have you ever tried ensuring that eleven eight week old cocker spaniel puppies are all facing the camera at the same time without getting an arm in shot?! Also there were many hours in the studio producing photographs for the cover of Woman and Woman’s Own magazines and a fascinating visit to a glass furnace.
June 2004, an even earlier example of my digital life taken with my first Minolta digital camera just before dusk in my garden. Stared straight at me, completely unfazed and not at all frightened!
My boss was reputed to have the first ever synchronised electronic flash, which was connected to the glass plate camera he used all the time in the studio. We produced colour prints by having three identical images (red, green & blue) and aligning them accurately so that they produced the full correct colour plus black and white – extremely expensive! Of course pretty well all photography then was black and white and all assignments away from the studio were taken with his Rolleiflex twin lens camera, which I coveted but could never afford to buy one.
No collection of my photographs would be complete without one of this iconic view! Amazingly, I hadn't got my camera with me and took it with my phone. Without the viewfinder I couldn't even see what I was taking with the sun shining on the screen! Turned out better than I was expecting. January 2017
My first SLR was a Minolta simply because it was the first to have automatic focusing and with mediocre eyesight I missed so many shots when trying to manually focus! After many years with Minolta I found that with the extra lenses the outfit was too heavy so I now have a Panasonic Lumix G6 four thirds system, which is half the weight without losing quality.
These poppies are a joy every summer in my garden and get photographed every year! This is one of the better ones I have taken. June 2017
It was many years before I was convinced to switch from film to digital as I felt the early digital cameras produced poor quality shots. Now of course they are superb. My special interest is scenery, wild life and macro and my holidays are always with camera in hand. I also spend far too long sat at my computer with one eye on the birds feeding in my garden. I’m still waiting for that perfect shot – one day soon?
It's not very often you get such a good view of the underside of a moth, which was resting on my conservatory window, but when I went outside to photograph the more normal view, it flew off! Taken in my very early days of digital - August 2004
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Back to Haytor, my spaniel's favourite walking spot. Taken in March 2006, we were lucky to get our walk as it started snowing heavily as we returned to the car park.
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Back to September 2006 for this shot of a spider's web in my garden. It was a very misty morning and the whole garden was glistening when the sun finally came out. The red legged partridges love my garden and are frequent visitors and very tame. One year there were four of them but this year there have only been two. July 2017 Walking along the beach path at Budleigh I suddenly realised that the Otter Estuary was flowing out towards Sidmouth, which meant that, unusually, it was possible to walk right out on to the rocks and see round the corner towards Sidmouth. December 2013 Came across this giant while walking my spaniel on Woodbury Common. Looked around for some elves but couldn't see any! September 2011 Another shot taken through my window. Mother appeared to have only one baby to feed who was making the most of all her attention! May 2016 I was on a short holiday at Dartmoor in November 2011 and was particularly taken with the foliage in the background of this photograph. The ponies totally ignored me! The passion flower was a gift to me three years ago and this year it bloomed constantly. The bees loved it and I got this shot amazingly in focus. What huge eyes this little bee has! August 2017 This was taken through my window. I thought it rather unusual for two different species to be sharing the bird bath. July 2016 On the way home from Woodbury Castle, I spied these wonderful colours on the edge of the road in East Budleigh. November 2017 Although the workmen were still there, it was possible to walk through the woods at Woodbury Castle and the leaves were at their best with the sun shining constantly. November 2017 There surely cannot be a more well known landmark in Budleigh than this famous row of Scots pines, though maybe I should have uploaded this last week in the reflections category! Picture: Barbara Mellor