Beverley Cappleman

A look at the photography of Beverley Cappleman

by Eric Beardsworth

A fresh look at the North

The stunning photographs of Beverley Cappleman give no clue that she took up photography as a serious hobby just over three years ago.

Before that, the mum-of-two from Newholm, near Whitby, had contented herself with taking snapshots of family and holidays, then waiting for the prints to come back from the processors. Her first camera was a Kodak Brownie 126, which many readers will remember as the most basic of point-and-hope cameras, even before the era of Instamatics, Polaroids and disposables.

Now her digital images of North Yorkshire, from peaceful pastoral scenes to the wild wind-whipped coast, are turning heads. Readers of Northern Life will have been impressed with her picture of intrepid anglers braving the waves on a pier, featured on the cover of Northern Life’s winter issue.

Beverley, 51, mother of grown-up sons Daniel and Sam, works as a pharmacy assistant at Boots in Redcar, a 45-minute commute from her home, and has no time during her working week to indulge her passion for photography.

But when she has free time, she’ll be up and away, often before dawn, to capture some new images. Husband Dave, who is also a keen photographer, is usually with her.

“We’ll take pictures at the same places, but we’ll see them differently and the results will be different,” Beverley says.

Beverley got into photography when Dave got a new camera and gave her his Canon 500D, a model favoured by novices who want to develop their creativity. At the time, she was finding she had more free time for a hobby, and dived into photography with enthusiasm. She admits she hasn’t yet mastered the technicalities of a digital single-lens reflex camera, and Dave helps her with them.

“My favourite shots are landscapes,” says Beverley, “but I can take a hundred before I get the one I want.” The worse the weather, the more dramatic are Beverley’s photographs on the coast. “I don’t care how cold or windy it is, because I can always wrap up, but I don’t have the camera out in the rain. If it’s raining, it stays in the bag.”

Beverley first learned about Northern Life’s Readers’ Gallery via Facebook and submitted some images. Although we did not use any immediately, we featured her picture of a cow in a landscape in the Northern Life calendar, then used her atmospheric shot of Whitby Abbey in our Readers’ Gallery. “When you used my picture for your front cover I was thrilled to bits and told all my friends,” she says.

Beverley’s work has earned her an offer to provide photographs for tourist postcards, so an even wider audience will be able to appreciate her photographer’s eye for a scene.

However, she remains modest about her achievements and has not put her work forward for any public exhibitions. “If my friends like one I’ll send it for them to print out, but I don’t print them out for myself and I haven’t got any on the wall at home.”