Bob Ward – Young Jeremiah Gains

Bob Ward
Young Jeremiah Gains

Young Jeremiah Gains, Carte de visite, Leeds, UK, photographer unknown, 1884

We are able to see what ordinary people in late-Victorian times looked like due to the popularity of what was known as a ‘Carte de visite’. Portraiture no longer the privilege of the rich, it had become possible to get photographed in one of the many studios available. The product was about the size of a playing card, just right for circulating among friends or adding to the family album. Although subsequently displaced by the postcard print that could be mailed, it was the arrival of the Box Brownie camera at the beginning of the 20th century that brought real change. Simple to use, everyone could now take pictures in their own settings, away from the make-believe backdrops provided by the studios.

Bob Ward – Two Signatures

Bob Ward
Two Signatures

Bob Ward is a contributor of poetry, an essay, and photographs to Amsterdam Quarterly. He discovered this indenture document of Benjamin Gains, a distant but direct relative, folded up and tucked away in the corner of a family Bible. He photographed the document using a Canon 20D SLR fitted with a 50mm macro lens in natural light and no flash to prevent damage. This document is now stored in the West Yorkshire County Archive, which will ensure its preservation.

Bob Ward, Two Signatures, photograph, 2005

Unknown Photographer – The Belding Family Reunion

Unknown Photographer
The Belding Family Reunion

Jennifer Clark writes about the photograph’s origin: ‘The Belding Family Reunion is a family photo that was taken in 1909 in Belding, Michigan by an unknown photographer. A number of people within the photo have been identified by my soon to be 90-year-old father, Joseph Engemann. The photo’s porch setting is the former home of my great-great-grandmother, Theresa Spaeth Martin, who was born in Germany 1835, came to America in 1851, and who died about eight years after this photograph was taken’.

Photographer unknown, The Belding Family Reunion, photograph, circa 1909

Jury S. Judge – Rubble of the Holy

Jury S. Judge
Rubble of the Holy

Jury S. Judge writes that: ‘as an artist, I create art to express myself in the pictorial language of light, colour, and linear forms. I enjoy blending traditional and digital mediums within my art because I find this combination to be a versatile method of self-expression. Through my photography, I enjoy capturing the natural beauty of my home state, Arizona, as well as the other destinations where my adventures lead me. Rubble of The Holy features the hexagonal basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. The camera I shoot with is a Canon. This photograph, however, was taken with a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.’

Jury S. Judge, Rubble of the Holy, photograph, 2017

Jayne Marek – Textures of Earth and Water

Jayne Marek
Textures of Earth and Water

Jayne Marek feels that her ‘designs should be balanced — not set in the centre, necessarily, but using well-distributed optical elements. I use mostly natural subject matter to achieve visual ambiguities, often through abstraction, to explore how objective reality can be perceived in multiple ways. I also emphasize designs by using bright or unexpected colours and by experimenting with exposures. Readers can take a closer look and enjoy patterns or shapes that might otherwise go unnoticed’. A Nikon Coolpix set at ISO 400 and 64 respectively was used for the first two photos. A Nikon D90 at ISO 200 was used for the last. None used flash.

Birch Oracle, Jayne Marek, photograph, May 2009

Colorblock Reflections, Jayne Marek, photograph, March 2011

Candy Pebbles, Jayne Marek, photograph, March 2012

Peter E. Murphy – Open

Peter E. Murphy

The SS United States was the largest, fastest and most luxurious ship to cross the Atlantic. It served between 1952 and 1969 when cheap airfares made it redundant. Stripped to the guts, it is docked by the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia waiting to be scrapped, or with a billion-dollar investment, to be repurposed as a museum, hotel, or small city. ‘Open’ is from a series of photographs called Beautiful Decay taken onboard with an iPhone 6s on a sunny day in December 2017.

Open, Peter E. Murphy, photograph, 2017

Bob Ward – Tree Trunk with Coins

Bob Ward
Tree Trunk with Coins, Keswick, UK

In the British Isles, there is an ancient custom of putting coins into tree trunks or wooden boards for good luck or to heal or ward off disease. Perhaps the most famous of these trees is in the Isle de Marie in Scotland where Queen Victoria placed a penny in the bark of a tree some believed healed illnesses. (Other healing powers related to the island included being able to cure insanity, but this involved rowing the insane thrice around the island and dunking them thrice in the cold waters before a coin was placed in the tree’s bark). Whatever its origins and its reasons, the custom of putting coins into tree trunks or boards continues to this day. The photograph below is of a tree trunk in Keswick, UK.

Bob Ward, Tree Trunk with Coins, Keswick, UK, photograph, 2017

Rink Foto – Harvey Milk Club/Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade

Rink Foto
Harvey Milk Democratic Club Contingent/Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade

Critiqued as a gay activist masquerading as a journalist, Rink Foto has photographed San Francisco’s LGBT community since 1969. His photographs have been published in more than 40 books and in three Academy Award winning films. Below is a photo of the Harvey Milk Gay Democratic Club contingent in the 1982 Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade. The Milk Club is named in memory of Supervisor Harvey Milk, the first openly gay US politician, who was assassinated along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, in November 1979.

Harvey Milk Gay Democratic Club contingent, 1982 Lesbian and Gay Freedom Day Parade, Rink Foto, photograph, 1982. L. to r. holding flags, Bryan R. Monte and Paul Melbostad; in car, San Francisco City and County Supervisor Harry Britt, US Congressman Phil Burton and driver, Bob Ross; under banner in jacket, John Bardis; far right, Ron Huberman.

Bryan R. Monte – Two of My Favourite Places

Two of My Favourite Places
by Bryan R. Monte

Below are two of my favourite places for contemplation, one in Amsterdam and the other closer to home. The first is just a few canals east of the University of Amsterdam’s ancient gate on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal. The Groenburgwal is a quiet, 17th century canal in Amsterdam with a view of the Zuiderkerk’s spire. The second photo is of the 19th century Beershoten-Willinkshof Park and Cupola in Driebergen-Rijnsburg, a place of rest for the eyes and soul not more than a few minutes walk from the neighbouring railway station.

Bryan R. Monte, Groenburgwal, Amsterdam, photograph, 2013.


Bryan R. Monte, Beerschoten-Willinkshof Park and Cupola, Driebergen-Rijnsburg, The Netherlands, photograph, 2011

Bryan R. Monte – Animals Close to Home

Animals Close to Home
by Bryan R. Monte

Although he is best known as a writer and an editor, Bryan R. Monte has a photography collection which covers nearly 50 years. It includes not only photos of San Franciscan artists and writers such as Jerome Caja as a young boy scout and Steve Abbott as a middle-aged man, but also landscapes of the many places he has lived. Two of these landscapes include animals close to home. The first is of a wild deer in the Cleveland, Ohio Metroparks, less than two miles from Monte’s former family home. The second is of a parking lot in Holmes County, Ohio with a line of horse-drawn Amish buggies, within a short drive of his father’s birthplace.

Bryan R. Monte, Deer, Cleveland, Ohio Metroparks, photo, 2016

Bryan R. Monte, Amish Parking Lot, Holmes County, Ohio, photo, 2015