Going 'Behind the Lens' with Guardian Camera Club's Jane Millinchip

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WELCOME to Behind the Lens, a feature that shines a light on the talented photographers in our Guardian Camera Club group.

This week, we’re talking to Jane Millinchip from Hartford who took up photography at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and it helped her to stay positive during lockdowns.

Jane Millinchip

Jane Millinchip

When and why did you take up photography?

I took up photography in 2020 during the first lockdown just using my phone. I went out for the daily walk from home, which we were allowed to do, and I simply took photos of what I saw. I started in March by looking for signs of spring – the buds and the new leaves – to remind myself that, even in lockdown, nature was as full of life as ever. I found this was a way of staying positive in a difficult situation. Later in the year, my family bought me a digital SLR as a present, and, over the past two years, photography has become one of my main hobbies.

What do you love about taking pictures?

There are several reasons why I love photography. It helps me and encourages me to be more observant and to be more mindful of the beauty and variety of the world around me. This is relaxing and very rewarding. I have always wanted to be able to do something creative, but I have never been very good at painting or drawing. Photography gives me an outlet for my creativity. I also enjoy being able to share my photos with friends and family, even those who are a long way away. It brings us closer together.

Early morning in Whitegate

Early morning in Whitegate

Where is your favourite place to take pictures and why?

In the local area, my favourite place to take pictures is Arley Hall, where I have an annual pass. The gardens there are fabulous and are beautifully maintained. There is always something interesting to photograph, whatever the time of year. I love the architecture of the hall itself too, and the old cruck barn. Arley Hall is a real gem tucked away so near to Northwich.

The courtyard at Arley Hall

The courtyard at Arley Hall

What is your favourite subject matter and why?

I particularly like to photograph flowers, often using my macro lens. I am attracted by the variety of shapes of petals and leaves and by the bright colours. Roses are a particular favourite. In the autumn, I love the seed heads with all their intricate patterns. I also love architecture and especially architectural details, such as locks and door handles, windows and doors. In all my photos, I am particularly drawn to unusual or quirky features which you only notice when you take your time to stop and look and go up close to them.

A pink rose from Janes Hartford garden

A pink rose from Jane’s Hartford garden

What do you enjoy about being part of the Guardian Camera Club?

I enjoy being part of the Guardian Camera Club because it allows me to see some amazing photos by local photographers. These photos give me pleasure and also inspire me with my own photos. I also like being able to share my photos with other people and get some feedback. I love the weekly themes which are suggested and I enjoy looking again at my own photos and choosing what to submit.

A friendly robin in Whitegate

A friendly robin in Whitegate

If you could photograph anyone/any place/anything, who/what would it be?

I would love to be able to do aerial photography of the landscape either from a plane or using a drone. I think aerial shots give a completely different impression of our world from the impression which we have we see when we are on the ground. They give us a bigger perspective and a better understanding of the wider environment.

If you would like to appear in our Behind the Lens feature, email [email protected]

If you would like to join the Guardian Camera Club, visit facebook.com/groups/guardiancameraclub

Take a look at Guardian Camera Club’s Cathie Leather’s favourite photos here

Winter reflections in Northwich

Winter reflections in Northwich


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