Sandra, Sandy or San as she is variously called by friends, has had a camera in her hand since about the age of twelve. Her first mentor was Frank Gibson of the renowned family of photographers from the Isles of Scilly and later, having moved to North Devon, she went to evening classes with the lovely Len Bowden at what was then North Devon College.


In the early eighties she began a collaboration with North Devon Author Rosemary Lauder and helped illustrate several of Rosemary’s books of local interest. In 1986, after several attempts, she managed to produce twelve prints which satisfied the Distinctions board of the Royal Photographic Society and became an Associate. In 1990, a super enlarged atmospheric shot of Hartland Quay was used by the Society for an Environmental Exhibition at Olympia.

The name Honeytone started as something of a joke. Sandra only worked out of a rather Heath Robinson darkroom and only in black & white, mainly from a time and expense restriction, but much enjoyed sepia and selenium toning. Sepia produces a warm tone and on one occasion she sent a picture of the family dog Honey to a friend which she copyrighted Honeytone. Shortly after, she became involved in Local Radio and the name Honeytone seemed appropriate for a domain name. Unfortunately, Sandra decided not register as a hence there are many other copycats around the world.

These days, the explosion in digital quality has much relieved the dedicated photographer, as he no longer has to shut himself away for hours on end but can, if he is good at multi-tasking, carry on communicating with the family whilst editing his pics. Sandra comments, rather sardonically, as follows:-

Celebrity seems all these days: famous for being famous and if someone hands you a camera which looks professional but does everything for you, you are suddenly a photographer. However, I have always thought that the image is more important than being strictly, technically, a perfect photograph, so I am not knocking it: only thinking it is time I joined in a bit more!

So, my work is celebration: of sunlight and what that sunlight enables us to see and, above all, feel about the world around us: a world that is often dangerous but never less than beautiful – if it weren’t for some of the people in it. I like to photograph real people in real surroundings: part of the living landscape. If it weren’t for sunlight, we wouldn’t be here.

I also like to photograph people communicating naturally: no studio and no lighting other than that available: using traditional skill with digital wizardry. I have always hated Flash and it has hated me right back!

That’s it. Judge for yourselves.



Copyright © Sandra Yeo 2011