Bob Ward – Life Abounding

Bob Ward
Life Abounding

Bob Ward writes: ‘As an elderly man, I’ve abandoned using a fine, but hefty SLR camera. Most of the time, I carry a lightweight Nicon Coolpix, ready to be whipped out at a moment’s notice. Though a simple device, it works well in ordinary circumstances. I used it for the butterflies and on a thistle photo, taken in Kelling Heath, Norfolk and for the earwig on the Japanese anemone photo, which I came across in my own garden in Holt, Norfolk, showing that sights worth seeing don’t necessarily require visits to exotic locations.
       However, I used my Canon SLR D7 with a macro lens to take the Calypso orchid photo in Alberta, Canada in 2007, while celebrating my Golden Wedding Anniversary with my partner. What’s required for macro work is a steady hand and considerable patience. I just love looking into the depth of things, just as Robert Hooke did in the 17th century.’

Bob Ward, Skippers on a Thistle, Kelling Heath, Norfolk, UK, photograph, 2023

Bob Ward, Calypso orchid, Alberta, Canada, photograph, 2007

Bob Ward, James Joyce in Paris, Holt, Norfolk, UK, photograph, 2023.

Jason Bentsman – Vanishing

Jason Bentsman

Jason Bentsman writes: ‘I’ve been taking photos for many years now, both analogue and digital, and started sharing them with the world fairly recently. Due to mindfulness in the pursuit, my output is relatively small. Nonetheless, at this point, I’ve amassed a meaningful body of work. In my photos generally I try to capture that which cannot be captured, which is to say, the transcendent. I find this much more of an intuitive than a rational process. This particular photo was taken on a caliginous day, during a blinding rainstorm, while in the passenger seat of a car. It seems to quintessentially capture the feeling of vanishing movement on the highway under such conditions.’

Jason Bentsman, Vanishing, photograph, 2023

Jim Ross – Fridays for Future: Ambassadors of Conscience

Jim Ross
Fridays for Future: Ambassadors of Conscience

Jim Ross writes: ‘I used a Panasonic Lumix camera (an entry-level SLR) from a fifth-row aisle seat, right next to the scrummage of reporters, who piled on top of each other in the aisle to take this photo. The event took place on 16 December 2019 in the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University in Washington DC. It was sponsored by Amnesty International to honour the 2019 Ambassadors of Conscience, Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future Movement.
      The Ambassador of Conscience award is Amnesty’s highest honour. Its purpose is to “celebrate individuals and groups who have furthered the cause of human rights by acting on their conscience, confronting injustice and using their talents to inspire others.” Given annually, it has honoured individuals such as Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and Alicia Keyes. Occasionally, it has honoured movements, such as the Indigenous rights movement in Canada.

Jim Ross, Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award Presentation 2019, photograph, 2019

      Amnesty’s initial intent was to give the 2019 award to Thunberg as the founder of Fridays for Future. However, at her insistence, Amnesty agreed to give the award to Fridays for Future at a more grassroots level. These awards were given simultaneously to Fridays for Future in cities around the globe as Thunberg received her award in Washington DC. Five other American students and one Canadian student received the award on stage alongside Thunberg. Pictured here are Kallan Benson, who was greatly involved in coordinating Fridays for Future in the United States, Thunberg, and Kumi Naidoo, then Secretary-General of Amnesty International.
      Upon receiving the award, Thunberg said: “This award is for all of those millions of people, young people, around the world who together make up the movement called Fridays for Future. All these fearless youth are fighting for their future, a future they should be able to take for granted. But as it looks now, they cannot.”
      My reporting of this event led to a major article, accompanied by 15 photos, in the December 2019 issue of Friends Journal and another in the March 2020 issue of UU World.’   AQ

kerry rawlinson – Afterburn

kerry rawlinson

kerry rawlinson writes: ‘My creative leaning is expressionistic, exposing the battle lines of people vs place; the edges & intersects of nature/construct, culture/chaos, order/anarchy. I photograph with an old Canon DLSR, then dabble with various digital photography tools to develop and move each piece wherever it leads. I never use Photoshop or any other graphic design software, and often enhance my pieces with acrylics or inks.’

kerry rawlinson, Afterburn, photograph, 2022

Jim Hodge – Moth on a Step

Jim Hodge
Moth on a Step

As with most things in the life of a hypomanic and formally diagnosed ADHD mind, poetry, black & white photography, and music have all acted as balms in my life, grabbing my attention, whispering to my ears and calling on my eyes to slow down, notice and be intentionally present—to momentarily exit the whitewater currents of daily life, to pull the kayak ashore, look downstream, and merely float in the beauty of the world. They are the equivalent of a stop, drop, and roll to extinguish the bonfires of the mind. The photo of a ‘Moth on a Cement Step’, as well as the poem, came to life on the same day, July 3, 2022. This digital photo was taken on an iPhone 5.

Jim Hodge, Moth on a Step, photograph, 2022

Susan E. Lloy – Prospect, Nova Scotia

Susan E. Lloy
Prospect, Nova Scotia

The ocean is many things to many people, but for me it is home. It’s a dream place I visit, if I’m fortunate, once a year. Prospect is where I hiked with my late father, who sketched and painted this slice of land, where the wild Atlantic spars with the rocky shore. Its wide expanse is where spirits are rejuvenated and worries washed away with each tide.
       When I write fiction settings on the sea, this majestic point is where I imagine my characters walking and observing, where their souls are awakened, as well as my own. This photo was shot with an iPhone 7.

Susan E. Lloy, Prospect, Nova Scotia, photo, 2022

Edward Lee – Wet Street

Edward Lee
Wet Street

Edward Lee writes: ‘This picture was taken in Barcelona with an Olympus E-510. I’ve always been attracted to images that contain a multitude of possible stories/interpretations, what may have happened before the picture was taken, what might happen after, what may be happening just outside of the shot.’

Edward Lee, Wet Street, photograph, 2021

Gaby Bedetti – Times Square, August 2021

Gaby Bedetti
Times Square in August

Gaby Bedetti writes: ‘The city is a text. Going to a city offers a reading of the people and environment. At the time of this photo, our family had just stepped out of the theatre after a performance of Hamilton. The liveliness of the performance synced with the liveliness of the crowd gathered to watch people dancing to a boombox. Our intimacy with the performers merged with our connection with the crowd. Like an ukiyo-e painting, the photo invites the viewer to live in the moment of the frame as a part of “the floating world.” This photo was shot with a Canon PowerShot SX130 IS.’

Gaby Bedetti, Times Square in August, photo, 2021

Ray Zhang – Street of Colour and Mountainside Blossoms

Ray Zhang
Street of Colour and Mountainside Blossoms

Ray Zhang is a senior in high school and he has an unquenchable love for photography. His work has been published in the Blue Marble Review and recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Association. His photographs, ‘Street of Colour’ and ‘Mountainside Blossoms’, were taken with an iPhone during his pre-pandemic trip to western China. Ray believes the most important aspect of photography is capturing people’s genuine nature and lifestyles.

Ray Zhang, Street of Colour, photo, 2019

Ray Zhang, Mountainside Blossoms, photo, 2019

Kevin Vivers – Fallow

Kevin Vivers

Kevin Vivers writes: ‘I have been a photographer for over 40 years and I am constantly amazed by what the world has to offer if one just takes the time to see it. I have no preconceived notions as to what I am looking to photograph and with an open mind and eye my images are very instinctual, reflexive. Not spur of the moment but watchful of those moments as they come into view.’

Kevin Vivers, Fallow, photo, 2021