Photography exhibit runs from August 5-September 1, with an opening reception from 3-5 p.m. August 11, 2019
The Lowcountry’s sprawling live oaks and active marshes often serve as a muse for many local artists. This August, Melinda Welker, a wildlife and nature photographer, will feature the Lowcountry’s majestic birds in a special exhibit called “Come Fly with Me.” The photography exhibit will show from August 5 – September 1, with an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. August 11 at The Society of Bluffton Artists (SoBA) gallery in Old Town Bluffton. These events are free and open to the public.
Welker’s photographs capture birds during their usual routines — beautifully frozen in poses the average onlooker doesn’t normally see.
“Birds are beautiful, graceful and, sometimes, just down right funny,” Welker said. “They are also skittish and elusive, making them a challenge to photograph. By studying birds in their natural habitats, I’ve learned to anticipate bird behavior to photograph them when they preen, display courtship rituals, take flight or dart in a pond to spear a fish. I never tire of spending time in a bird rookery.”
Welker studied photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) before digital photography took hold. She combined her photography skills with a career in publishing. She was the founding editor of Asian Home Gourmet, a food and lifestyle magazine in Singapore, as well as Centered on Taipei, a magazine for the expatriate community in Taipei, Taiwan.
“My photographic style is Asian influenced, where I prefer an uncluttered scene with negative space to let the bird be the star of the picture,” Welker said. “Where possible, I shoot with a shallow depth of field to achieve a background like a Monet painting.”
Welker’s passion for photographing birds began when she moved to South Carolina, fully embracing digital photography. In addition to regularly exhibiting photographs at the SoBA gallery, Welker’s work has been exhibited nationally. She was accepted as a member of The National Association of Women Artists (NAWA) in 2018, having met the standards required by the NAWA jury panel in NY. Her work was curated into two national exhibits this year — the Biennale at the Art League of Hilton Head and a NAWA exhibit at the Art Club of Washington D.C.
Welker is a member of the Callawassie Island photography club, where she has exhibited at annual shows and shared her knowledge of photography through a mentor group. She also is a member of the Lowcountry chapter of the Carolinas’ Nature Photography Association, where like-minded North and South Carolina photographers share their passion for the world of outdoor photography.