July 26, 2010

FORE!!! (T.O)

My first time shooting a major golf event; here are pictures of Carl Pettersson from Sweden, winner of this year's Canadian Open.

While harsh sunlight (as opposed to an overcast day) makes it tough to get the good important news photos (i.e. reactions after putting and the like), it is very fun to play with the shadows and make some artsy images.

But in the end, the only picture that really matters for the final round is:

July 15, 2010

OMG-20 (Toronto, Ontario)

I delayed posting this thinking I would have time to re-edit some photos, and maybe come up with some poetic way to describe the hectic weekend of the G20 summit in Toronto. I was wrong. I've been very busy ever since.

Although these were exceptional events here in Toronto, on the world stage, the protests and riots were fairly insignificant. A few police cruisers burnt down, some broken windows... Protesters didn't injure anyone (the police took care of that), nothing compared to what we saw in Thailand a few months ago, or in the Paris suburbs a few years back (when they wanted to increase tax on baguettes if I recall).

I wanted to cover the lighter side of this social experiment. Some protesters dressed like clowns, were actually hilarious:

Or people dancing in Allan Gardens, where a lot of out-of-town protesters (a lot came from Qu├ębec) pitched tents - I guess you can't afford hotels on an activist's paycheck:

The city had been deserted, this is Yonge Street during the morning rush hour:

The bigger story was really the way the police acted. Numbers were humongous; 19 000 officers (Pittsburgh only had 5 000), 1.1 billion for security (60 times more than the 18 million last year in Pittsburgh). And all that just to kick civil rights in the crotch.

Some of my friends and fellow journalists, while wearing proper ID, were roughed up and arrested. At one point I was watching a very peaceful - borderline boring - protest, in the officially designed protest spot - and out of nowhere, police officers in full riot gear would charge the crowd and arrest the person standing next to me, who hadn't done a thing. I could go on and on with example of police fuck-ups - and I'm not one to usually side with low-life protesters.

More so than a few 17-year-olds from Montreal dressed in black breaking windows; the way the police forces dropped the ball on that one is what will be remembered of the G20 in Toronto.

July 10, 2010

Blue Jays (T.O)

July 03, 2010

MuchMusic Video Awards (T.O)

Variety is what makes my job interesting. I'd rather die than have to shoot this type of event day in and day out, but in the grand scheme of things, being part of the huge (useless, ridiculous, absurd) celebrity circus just adds to the variety of tasks a photojournalist is expected to do.

Some photographers specialize in celebrity photography (and do quite well). The only one respectably doing so in Canada described his skill has being able to both "be arrogant and suck-up in a single sentence". It's a fine line. One I'm trying to stay away from.

So it starts with the red carpet. These events always attract all kinds of wannabe photographers, working for themselves, for a shitty blog, or giving away pictures just to get a pass. For once, I found some of them to be useful:

About 50 to 100 "celebrities" will walk down the red carpet. 5 to 10 of them are actually important enough for us to need pictures, of which I know absolutely none.

They all look the same. Chatting to those fan / fake-photographers was actually really helpful as they knew almost everybody.

Now we tackled the event with 5 photographers. We had people posted on the red carpet, and later around the various stages. My assignment was to roam around, and find some pretty pictures; look for something different. My fellow photographers thought this was the best job, and I agreed.

Until I met the PR people. (I so hate them; beware the short lady with the clipboard and headset...)

I was herded back into a photo pit (in which we already had a shooter) and told this was the only place I could take pictures. I'd have to try and make something different, from the same spot everybody else is in... The first picture of this post is an example of what I was supposed to do, it was taken just before I got yelled at and taken back to the dedicated photo spots (for the second time of the night).

These PR people, whose job it is for us to make them and their event look as good as possible, do so by restraining us as much as they can. Think about it for a second, I simply wanted to wander around in the crowd.