Scientist Paula finds her creative niche

Bamburgh Boy by Paula Robson-Ansley
Bamburgh Boy by Paula Robson-Ansley

Scientists are not normally known for their work in harnessing emotions, but for one north Northumberland woman it’s a vital component in her other life as a photographer.

Alongside her research on sport and exercise sciences at the University of Northumbria, Paula Robson-Ansley is now applying her scientific skills to her new operation, Deerwood Photography.

Scientist turned photographer Paula Ansley Robson.

Scientist turned photographer Paula Ansley Robson.

Travelling across Northumberland from her base at Felton, she specialises in capturing beautiful yet natural images of families, children and animals.

Her depictions of animals and people against the canvas of Northumberland landscapes show her talent for capturing the relationship between animals and owners, people with one another and the environment.

She said: “I see my job as capturing the emotion and getting the expression behind the individual. There is an emotional connection between animals and their owners and I am passionate about capturing that essence in a picture.”

Though equally passionate about Northumberland, Paula is not a native of the North East.

Originally from the south, she moved to South Africa where she was a research fellow at the South African Sport Science Institute, Cape Town University and Stellenbosch University.  

A former top-class rower, who was a member of the Olympic Development Squad, Paula’s own sporting dreams were shattered when she suffered a slipped disc, chronic fatigue and a suppressed immune system. Though her career as a professional athlete was over, her injury triggered a personal interest in exploring fatigue and immune system function in athletes.

She said: “What grabs me about science – just like photography – is that I like making things come alive. Science doesn’t always sound creative but it is – you are constantly developing ideas and theories and then testing them – just like photography.”