As an investment advisor, Ron Gesser of Westmount, Que., spends much of his time studying numbers. But as an amateur photographer, there’s always a yearning to travel, he said.
“You really disconnect from your regular life,” he said of his wanderlust to Global News from his home.
Every year Gesser visits a different country where he takes pictures to help make sense of what he’s learning, a passion he’s had since childhood. That love recently brought him international attention.
He’s a finalist for the World Photographic Cup, an annual international contest in which teams of photographers – professionals and amateurs – compete.
“It’s a non-profit organization that is basically trying to, I would say, make the world a better place at a global level, at a country level,” Gerald David, co-captain for World Photographic Cup Team Canada explained.
At least 700 images from more than 30 countries were entered.
Gesser’s work was one of 24 pictures submitted as part of Team Canada’s entry. His picture of a woman in Odisha, India (formerly known as Orissa), a member of the Kutia Kondh ethnic group, was picked as one of the top 10 images in the world in the natural portrait category.
“I think it’s just the way she was sitting and the look in her eyes,” said Gesser about what drew him to take the picture. “I think she was one of the oldest people in the area.”
Gesser has competition from one other Canadian. Holly-Lynn Latimour from Pefferlaw, Ont., another of the 20 photographers who made up Team Canada, was a finalist in the commercial photography category.
Gesser explained that the main reason he likes to travel is that it opens his mind and makes him less judgmental.
“You get to see different cultures and how other people live,” he said.
He travels with his wife Sharleen Young, who believes their traveling comes with some responsibility.
“One of the things I’d like to do, now that Ron has a website and hopefully we’ll be able to sell some of his artwork, is to give back and make donations to organizations,” she said.
The contest winners will be announced March 17.