Onne Van der Wal

Onne (pronounced "Onn-Uh") has been a nautical, sailing and yacht photographer for over 20 years. Once a professional sailor, Onne got his start in nautical, sailing and yacht photography while sailing with the 1981-82 Dutch Whitbread Around the World Race Team on their winning boat, FLYER. When Onne returned from their winning circumnavigation, the press was eager to see the many sailing photos he had shot with gear given to the eager young sailor and sailing photographer by Olympus Cameras.

These yachting photos are still often published today and were his first commercial works, as they came to represent the photographic style and elements he is now well known for. Dramatic angles from the masthead or the end of the spinnaker pole are examples of the effort Onne will put into any assignment or boating photo shoot he accepts.


Ed Hughes

Hughes, North Kingstown’s harbormaster, spent most of his life traveling the world as a sport fisherman, setting up fishing lodges and training guides in the art of fly-fishing. If he liked a place, he’d stay on and help market it. He ended up spending six years on and off on Midway Island in the Pacific, and made visits to Fiji, Costa Rica and Panama. He was living every outdoorsman’s dream. But in November 2007, just days before leaving for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hughes was feeling a little off. His nose was running and he was losing his voice. He figured it was an allergy, and at his wife’s urging, went to have it checked out. The allergist found nothing, but suggested he see Dr. Robert McRae, an East Greenwich nose and throat specialist. When Hughes showed up at McRae’s office looking for an appointment, he was told there were no openings until January. But as he was leaving, thinking he was off the hook, the receptionist told him there had been a cancellation and McRae could see the doctor that afternoon. After examining Hughes’ throat with a scope, McRae told Hughes he wanted to see him the first thing in the morning at Rhode Island Hospital for tests. When the results came back a few days later, Hughes was told he had stage-4 throat cancer, and that there was a tumor the size of a ping-pong ball on his epiglottis. He was given six months, maybe a year to live.

That was five years ago, and Hughes, 61, is still here — but a changed man.

Hughes has come to embrace Buddhism, and to channel his love of the outdoors into creating striking wildlife photos. And for the first time, he has been able to open his eyes to the wonder of the world, even if he looks no further than his own backyard. “It might sound odd,” said Hughes, “but cancer was the greatest gift ever given to me.” Hughes had surgery in April 2008. The doctors told him there was a good chance he’d never talk again or eat without a feeding tube. Four days after the operation, he was home and went for a short walk, even though he had drains in his neck and a tube down his throat. As he returned home, he spotted a nest with two just-hatched robins in a bush outside his front door. He’d seen vast flocks of exotic birds on Midway Island, but never really paid attention to them. Now it was as though he was seeing nature for the first time. “I started noticing everything,” he said. “There is no mundane in nature.” He searched his house for a camera, grabbed a step ladder and snapped a shot of the baby robins. And that sparked what has become an all-consuming passion for nature photography. “I don’t think you really see things until you think you might never see them again,” said Hughes. “Whenever I take out a camera, it’s like I’m seeing things for the first time, even though I do it all the time.”

“If I had to have cancer again and go through treatment for one good day, you bet I’d do it,” he said. “And that’s not because of a fear of death, but an appreciation for living.

“If I died tomorrow,” he said. “I’d consider myself the luckiest man in the world.”

Article from the Providence Journal

David Grossman

David Grossman is a full time, freelance photographer based in Duxbury, Massachusetts. He photographs people and places, and works for both corporate and private clients.

"My grandfather was heavily involved with a camera club when I was young, and always seemed to have a Leica around his neck. Although he was a better technician than artist, some of the members of that club were great Life Magazine photographers. They’d bring slide trays and prints of recent work to the meetings I tagged along to, straight out of their cameras, no manipulation. One of the men my grandfather was good friends with–I don’t think he worked for Life–was a photographer named Harry Garfield. Harry was legally blind. He wasn’t allowed to drive a car, but somehow managed to make amazing pictures. All of them were observers and storytellers, and a number were well known, but it was Harry that amazed me the most. He could see with his mind. I was pretty young, but the vision, influence, and personalities of Harry and the others was indelible."