Sharon and Roy Hancliff will be opening their studio this weekend for the Central Island Studio Tour which runs Friday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m each day.
“At first we said no because our studio is so small and then we realized it doesn’t matter,” Sharon said of their studio which is based out of their home (638 Redwood Dr., Qualicum Beach).
Sharon said there will be coffee and baked goodies.
“We’re bribing people,” she said with a laugh. She also said there is a raffle to win a piece of Roy’s work and all people have to do is show up to put their name in the draw.
Sharon and Roy moved to Qualicum Beach about three years ago from Salmon Arm. Before that, the couple lived in Spain after moving from England.
Roy said his interest in photography goes back to the 1960s.
“People just had cameras in the 60s and 70s and I just loved wildlife,” Roy said. “We took what we could in England at the time, and then we moved to Spain and there really wasn’t much wildlife there.”
But it was 13 years ago, after moving to Canada, that he saw his first hummingbird and there was no turning back.
“We couldn’t really see it,” he said. “That was the main thing and so I had to devise a method of freezing hummingbirds’ wings.”
Over the years, Roy said he and Sharon have worked to perfect their methods.
“It’s a big set up. It’s not just a snapshot. It’s basically an outdoor studio,” Roy said. “Every shot is planned, down to fine detail, where the lights are and trying to come up with something different each time because I’ve done flowers, I’ve done water. I’m trying to think of something else now for the summer.”
While his specialty has been in-flight birds, Roy said, he’s trying new things with his photography.
Over the summer Roy and Sharon would visit local beaches to photograph the sunset over the water, but Roy said because it’s the east coast of the Island, there’s only two or three beaches where it works.
“We use flashlights. We take the pictures at night. It’s actually dark when we’ve taken them with a long exposure which flattens the sea off and then we paint the rocks (with the light from the flashlight) in the foreground,” Roy said.
Sharon, while not a photographer herself, she said she’s Roy’s wingman while he’s shooting.
“There’s not many people we know that would sit out all summer for one shot that we think is worthy of going to print,” Sharon said.
For more information on Roy’s work, visit www.royhancliff.com.
Joining Roy and Sharon at their home studio is guest artist Jay Holbrook. Holbrook creates kinetic rolling ball desktop sculptures.
Along with Roy Hancliff Photography, there will be other studios joining the tour. In Parksville there is Pat Scrivener Art (784 Temple St.) In Qualicum Beach there is Cedar Moon Glass Studio and Gallery (1125 Corcan Rd.) and Maloonie (1860 Ashling Rd.), which is having its grand opening this weekend in conjunction with the tour. In Bowser there is Webworks and Sockworks (81 Wildwood Pl.) and Elissa Anthony Studio and Gallery (4523 Thompson Clarke Dr.).
For more information on the studio tour, visit www.centralislandtour.com.