The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people. In 2013 the day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably.
I photograph for a number of non-governmental organisations and charities that work towards building lasting peace or indirectly by improving the economic stability of a region, including International Alert, The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) and The Red Cross.
I recently attended the launch of “The Peace Perceptions Poll 2018”, a collaboration between International Alert and the British Council, in partnership with global polling agency RIWI.
Bringing together the views of more than 100,000 people, the Peace Perceptions Poll sought to answer questions around how people experience and respond to violent conflict, and how they think their government should respond to conflict.
More countries are experiencing violent conflict now than at any time in the past 30 years. People have been displaced from their homes at a rate not seen since the Second World War. The cost of conflict is currently estimated at US$1.04 trillion a year.
Conflict and violence appear on our screens every day. Whilst we all understand that conflict is detrimental to the economic stability of a country and wellbeing of the people it is more challenging to assess what can be done to prevent conflict in the first place.
The findings showed a clear public appetite for long-term conflict prevention, commonly termed 'peacebuilding'. There are no short term fix solutions with education and economic improvement being the top two elements voted for in the poll.
During the panel debate, someone from the audience asked the question that if the solutions are long term, then what should we be doing in the here and now?”
Our perceptions that peacebuilding is long term often means that people do not think that they can make a difference. With long term solutions of education and economic improvement we will always be in the “here and now” and there will always be conflict around the world. The Peace Perceptions Poll is a shining example of what we should be doing in the “hear and now” and also to what a difference we can make.
Take the poll at The Peace Perceptions Poll 2018
I have been selected as a Nikon featured photographer on their “Inspirations” section of their Polish website.
This Polish language site was created to assist photographers in raising the quality of their art through education and inspiration. The site consists of three main sections. The first section is a tutorial, where technical information and ideas are presented as a support in educating photographers in the basic mechanics of photography. The second section highlights an “Author of the Month”. This section also employs an educational approach through the author giving concrete and practical assignments to the site’s users.
The third section has links to inspiring and interesting featured photographers from around the world.
I am a great believer that we never stop learning from our fellow photographers however much experience we have. I constantly find inspiration, and learn from, other photographers and hope that my pictures will do the same.
I am featured in the latest Nikon Pro Magazine, the tri-annual publication from Nikon Europe read by over 75,000 professional photographers and serious enthusiasts worldwide.
The magazine carries news and features that are intended to inspire, inform and engages its readers. Each issue selects “eight superb photos” and discusses “the motivations of the people who created them.
My picture of a school boy in a village in Rwanda, photographed for the organisation DelAgua, was selected for a two page spread. DelAgua’s project in Rwanda will provide individual households with a ready supply of clean water and a safer, more efficient means of cooking.
The water filters eliminate bacterial contamination - providing safe water for drinking and washing. The cookstoves use less wood and burn more efficiently - this helps prevent diseases caused by air pollution and reduces carbon emissions.
Occasionally I am asked to photograph events that cannot be discussed until after, interiors that are not to be seen by anyone other than the client and people whose portraits are restricted ... I can now add top secret food to that list!
I have been photographing for Pladis for a while now and earlier this year they contacted me to see if I would like to photograph a project as commissioned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
In 1947, McVitie and Price made the official wedding cake for the young royal couple. Parent company Pladis offered its services to Buckingham Palace to provide a cake to celebrate the royal milestone, and in July, Pladis received a letter from the Master of the Household, stating that “Her Majesty would be very pleased to receive the cake.”
Pladis’s team of chefs created the one-of-a-kind cake on Hopwood Lane in Halifax, which was decorated in High Wycombe and has been delivered to Windsor Castle.
It was created by a team of specialist bakers lead by Esther Gamble, Product Design Lead, and Mark Schomberg, Global Development Chef at Pladis.
The cake includes intricate handmade sugar work details such as flowers replicating the Myrtle used in The Queen’s original wedding bouquet and intertwining initials to represent their union.
The cake is a fruit cake, weighs 35kgs, is 24 inches at its widest point and stands almost 2 feet tall.