Art on the Trail – a celebration of the LHT and the artists and creators of all ages and skill levels who enjoy it – is now launched and live. And, what better way to encourage our creative friends to share their LHT-inspired artwork than by featuring some of the artists who helped inspire Art on the Trail, including previously featured artists Nicky Belletier and John Marshall.

Meet Ben Nicolson – a self-taught photographer and licensed architect who specializes in landscape architecture and mobile photography. He enjoys trail running and going for walks with his family on the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and has shared his photography with the LHT in the past.

LHT Ben Nicolson Headshot

Ben Nicolson, courtesy of the artist

LHT: Can you share an Artist’s Statement?
Ben: “The best camera is the one that you already have.” All of these images were taken and edited using my smartphone. A photographic moment can arise in an instant and having a present and awakened mind to capture that moment is more valuable than the type of camera you have in your hand.

LHT: How long have you been creating? What inspired you to start or restart creating art?
Ben: I’ve been creating photographic imagery since college, where I picked up my first DSLR and began to capture and frame the world around me. I enjoy the aspect of freezing a moment in time and then through the use of editing, I can enhance aspects of that moment to bring about different emotions and feelings for the viewer.

LHT: What is your preferred medium or media?
Ben: Digital photography, but mostly mobile photography.

LHT: Is all your artwork inspired by nature?
Ben: Most of my photography is of the natural world, especially while out on the trail. I also enjoy architectural photography which is capturing images of the built world. Each is unique in its own right and comes with its own challenges.

LHT: What about the LHT inspires you? What are your favorite segments?
Ben: The natural light and seasonal changes on the trail are what inspires me the most. Whether it’s 5:30am in the summer months and the sun is barely coming over the horizon or an evening in the fall as the sun is setting. The Mercer Meadows sections of the LHT are my favorites because both are walking distance from my home. I love to run on the paths that cut through the fields and woods. It is truly a great escape.

LHT: How did you discover the LHT?
Ben: Many years ago, when my wife and I moved into our first home in Lawrence Township we went for a walk in the neighboring Village Park and eventually found ourselves in Mercer Meadows and have been coming back ever since.

LHT: Do you have advice or messages for other artists (adults, kids, novices, pros) encouraging them to get outside and create art inspired by the LHT?
Ben: The Lawrence Hopewell Trail has a lot to offer creatives. Each section of the trail is unique and offers scenery and wildlife that you may not otherwise see in your own backyard. The trail is inspirational, and its natural beauty enables your mind to wander and create. My advice would be to explore the various parts of the trail with your phone or camera in tow. Take pictures of what speaks to you and what elicits emotion, then try to capture that feeling in a way that others may experience it as well.

LHT Ben Nicolson Deer on the Trail

Courtesy of the artist

LHT Ben Nicolson Photo

Courtesy of the artist

LHT Ben Nicolson Photo

Courtesy of the artist

LHT Ben Nicolson Photo

Courtesy of the artist

LHT Ben Nicolson Photo

Courtesy of the artist

LHT Ben Nicolson Photo

Courtesy of the artist

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