Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer
It was one of the "those" nights. Not much went right, some my own fault, some just the fault of fate. Usually, I'm not in the habit of detailing bad shoots, but the fact is we're all human and we all have those days. Tonight, was one of those for me.
Baseball is one sport I have a love/hate relationship with. It can be boring and uneventful. Other times I can be euphoric. There can be endless hours of not much happening, and then, the world seems to explode. Unless you keep your mind keenly in tune, its really easy to miss the one play, or two plays, which break open the game. Or, it could just be some bad luck by paying attention to a field position player and and the action happens elsewhere.
Tonight I had a lens which is great for the outfield plays, but a bit too tight for other positons. Players can easily leap out of the frame, or get cut off. Things seemed to collide on several fronts tonight and I was not a very happy camper.
So, just to show that everyday does not go as one would hope, here's some of what can happen. The worst example of things going wrong was Aaron Hill scoring the 2nd run with a play at the plate. The other thing that was disappointing was the Jose Bautista Grand Slam. Not only did I fail to have the ball in the frame when he swung his bat (too much lens), the one very small moment of a smile on Bautista was not visible from the 1st base shooting position. As I found out later, it was from the 1st base extension shooting position. CP photographer Nathan Denette had it, and I never saw it. All I saw was a guy round the bases pretty much expressionless. That, unfortunatley, was a choice I made by staying in that position. However, other days, things you can see from the position I occupied are blocked from the other position.
On the positive side, tomorrow is another day and a chance to redeem myself.
Richard Lautens - Staff Photographer
I have covered a lot of baseball in the last 23 years at the Star. Although it can be a long, tiring night and a lot of stress of getting the right shot as well as deadline pressure, I still pinch myself sometimes that I get paid to do this job.
I was at the Toronto Blue Jays victory over the Baltimore Orioles Monday night. First I had to make a feature picture for a news story that Toronto stadiums have the cleanest food concessions in the league. Next was keeping an eye out for anything that looked like 80s night at the Rogers Centre. With those out of the way, it was time to actually cover the baseball game.
We always need to make some pictures of the starting pitchers as win or lose they are part of the story. Big hits, double plays, brushbacks at first base all make for good pictures of course. Unfortunately, Monday nights was one of those quiet nights for action photos in spite of the 9-5 final score.
There is a lot of camaraderie among photojournalists in Toronto and there were a lot of mutual grumblings from the photo dugout that there were no pictures to be had. One of the photogs, Mark Blinch of Reuters, proclaimed that a case of 24 refreshing beverages will go to the first photographer who can nail a photo of an outfielder leaping for a ball in front of an ad for Nikon binoculars.
That's a good challenge. The problem was that the players weren't co-operating. Finally there was a very routine single up the middle toward centre. I made a couple of pictures of it although I usually wouldn't have shot it as it was a mundane scene. You guessed it, The Jays' Vernon Wells wasn't diving for the ball but at least he stooped down a bit, perfectly centred with the binoculars. No one else shot the picture fortunately.
Upon seeing the image after the game, Mark declared that although Wells wasn't leaping for the ball as per the original stipulation of the bet, perhaps it was worth a six-pack.
I'm just glad I had a picture.
Richard Lautens/The Toronto Star
Carlos Osorio - Staff Photographer
Recently I spent a week in the Huntsville area visiting camps for the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund.
Each year thousands of kids attend more than 100 different camps thanks to contributions from individuals, organizations and businesses.
This was my first time on the Fresh Air assignment.
I spent my days traveling the back roads enjoying some of the best scenery Ontario has to offer. The camps were amazing. Kids swimming, taking improv classes, skateboarding, canoeing, climbing ropes, bonfires and all sorts of other fun activities.
Below is a collection of some of the camps I visited.
How to donate.
Mail to The Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund, ONe Yonge St., Toronto, ON M5E 1E6
By credit card
VISA, Mastercard or AMEX, call 416-869-4847
For instant donations, use our secure form.
Working in the craft room at Camp Big Canoe are Alison Loney, who is in charge of crafts, Amanda Bonang and Mack Millett. On the ceiling and walls of the room are the names of campers who have stayed at Camp Big Canoe. Some date back to 1970.
Campers at Newport Adventure Camp are seen playing a game of sink the canoe. The object of the games is to splash water into the two canoes until they sink. The counselors inside the canoes use a bucket to take the water out of the canoe.
Ryder Hesjedal's 7th place finish is the best finish for a Canadian in the Tour de France since Steve Bauer finished 4th in 1988.
Collapsed people get first aid while others try to leave the area after a panic on this year's techno-music festival "Loveparade 2010" in Duisburg, Germany, on Saturday, July 24, 2010. Police are still trying to determine exactly what happened, but the situation was "very chaotic," police commissioner Juergen Kieskemper said. AP Photo/dapd/Hermann J. Knippertz
Steve Russell - Staff Photographer
The one thing I love about Toronto and one of the reasons that the Huffington Post called us the New Capital City of Cool is the diversity.
Toronto is special.
When I walk along Spadina, I can dream that I am in China.
Sipping beer in the south end of BMO is tasting the Premiere League atmosphere.
Salsafest on St. Clair takes me to Latin America.
Sitting on the beach at Toronto Island takes me to cottage country.
My backyard, to many of the disaster areas I have covered.
Today, I took a trip to Sri Lanka and all I had to do was drive a little North of the 401 and a wee bit East of the 404.
The 11th annual Vinaayagar Chariot Festival at the Sri Varasiththi Vinaayagar Hindu Temple on Kennedy Road attracted thousands and transported me out of the GTA.
The chariot on four huge wooden wheels and pulled by two long heavy ropes resembles a lotus flower. The god, Lord Ganesh sits on a throne as it is pulled by devotees.
Reports came into the newsroom around 4:30 pm of a possible hostage situation on the Queensway. Star staff photographer Rene Johnston was nearby, and we dispatched him to the scene. A man with a gun had taken the manager of a local Swiss Chalet restaurant hostage. Rene arrived, got positioned, and waited, along with the ETF (Emergency Task Force) and curious bystanders. By 6 pm it seemed the drama was going to drag on, so I made a decision to send another photographer, Steve Russell. It meant cancelling 2 other local assignments, but I felt it would be worth having the extra photographer on scene for the developing story. In this case, the extra shooter really helped cover the story. Both Steve and Rene photographed the scene from different vantage points. Thankfully, the tense drama ended peacefully.
-Mike Kelly, Picture Editor