Originally from Northern England, Alan Norsworthy has been a photographer since the late 1960's.

He moved to Canada in 1973 and has made Guelph Ontario his home for the last 24 years.

" I remember visiting the CN Tower in the early 70's and the guide said that as far as you could see in any direction is the best farmland in Canada. That comment echoes down the years as I watch subdivisions eat up the landscape."

The area around Guelph offers up a plethora of rural images which Alan captures with his artistic vision. His work covers everything from macro photographs of flowers, sweeping landscapes, historic buildings and old abandoned farms in both colour and Black and White.

"This is where I find my inspiration, I have a need to show people the beauty I see as I walk the woods and fields of Southern Ontario"

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Broken Dreams-Talbot Trail

Broken Dreams-Talbot Trail
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Old, forgotten, abandoned houses and farms, even entire towns!

Over the years I have spent a lot of time wandering around these treasures and the same thoughts creep into my conscious mind:

What happened here?
Where did the people go?

To me, abandoned places are like landlocked Marie Celeste’s.
Some fully furnished, food in the cupboard .. never open a fridge or a freezer though..

Beds still with sheets, Books and reading glasses, dishes in the kitchen, newspapers and calendars from long ago everything is there except the people.

Is it one’s imagination that runs away or are there still occupants in some of these places? Well sometimes they are there not in human form but their essence, their spirit remains. Sometimes only in a barely tangible form, sometimes more so.

If walls could talk what stories would they tell?
Standing quietly sometimes there are whispers, but the whole story is never clear.

In the end all there is left is a sadness, an emptiness.
Lost hopes and dreams lie scattered amongst the detritus of lives hard lived but we cannot hear them, these stories are gone along with the occupants.

Even more sad is the knowing that the bulldozers await. They will come to tear out the remaining soul and erase forever the memory of these places so we can replace them with yet another mall ...

They civilize what's pretty
By puttin' up a city
Where nothin' that's
Pretty can grow....
They civilize left
They civilize right
Till nothing is left
Till nothing is right
~Alan Jay Lerner, "The First Thing You Know," Paint Your Wagon, 1969

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Standing Tall-Niska Trail

Standing Tall-Niska Trail
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

These days when I walk the trails I find myself being drawn to the words of the North American elders.

They understood this planet we call home

They revered all things

They found peace and harmony out there.

When the first explorers arrived they found “a pristine untouched wilderness”. Little did they know it had been inhabited for thousands of years by the “Indian”.and as Bill Mason reflected..

"So the first white man arrives in North America and he looks out over the land and he calls it a pristine untouched wilderness. That's got to be the greatest compliment that anyone could pay to the native peoples that had lived here for thousands of years....and it's still possible to catch a glimpse of what that wilderness used to be..... and I think that the best way to do that is in a canoe, the most beautiful and functional craft ever created.", Bill Mason - from the film "Waterwalker"

So as I walk I think of these things. All things are connected, all things have a life, a spirit and we are part of that whole.

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~ Chief Seattle'

As I sit and watch the news, flooding, tornadoes, storms that seem to be getting bigger and stronger by the day, I wonder at what we have done. Mother Nature will only tolerate so much before she protects herself ....

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Splendor in the Grass - Guelph

Splendor in the Grass - Guelph
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

This morning I went on journey, I walked one thousand Kilometers in the company of hundreds, traveled back in time a thousand years all without leaving the house.

Let me explain..

On the advice of a friend I 'googled' Peter Coffman and discovered not only photographs but a place.

A place where only the pilgrims and the seekers go. Its not a place per se because it encompasses many, many places and 2 countries its the long walk, the “Camino de Santiago”


I found music there interwoven with the words and photographs.

The music was written, played and recorded along the trail by Oliver Schroer. He played in small churches and cathedrals alike wherever the spirit moved him. (pardon the pun)

Hauntingly beautiful music as only a lone fiddle can make.

As Peter says …

“ The violin sings, the stones sing back. The notes and the space embrace as if they have been waiting for this meeting all their lives. The man stops playing, but the notes keep going, unwilling to give this moment up.”


They are the sounds of a journey, a pilgrimage yes but not necessarily a search for god but a search for oneself

On the morning of July 3rd, 2008, after a long battle with leukemia, Oliver Schroer passed away at Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto.

As my friend said “why is it that the good people die young” I ask myself the same question....

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Splendor in the Grass - Guelph

Splendor in the Grass - Guelph
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Having had a bit of a hiatus as my wife recovers from her surgery I stole a bit of 'me time' this weekend and went for a walk with friends.
The weatherman was threatening rain and the mosquitoes were out in force but we went anyway. 

A late change of venue saw us walking the trails along the Eramosa River here in Guelph. Stopping and starting, lagging behind, moving on, as something caught our attention but lots of banter and laughter along the way.
As Patrick commented "Seeing the sight in all its reality and then your image! Incredible fun of how we all interpret things differently, see things (how) others see things". When I took the photograph my comment to Patrick was "that one is destined for black and white" ...

This exposure to the scene and seeing the final result as others see makes every outing a learning experience and begs the thought 'where was I when he did/saw that'? It makes us look or should I say 'feel' more intently.

I have been reading a great deal recently of what I would call the Zen of photography, feeling instead of seeing, opening one's mind to the possibilities and waiting for the moment to arrive before pressing the shutter.

This way of seeing was first introduced to me in a workshop put on by Doug Wilson in Killarney/LaCloche last fall. Its amazing how those seeds he planted are growing into a new way of seeing, a new way of photographing the world...

A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety. ~Ansel Adams