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Steve Russell - Staff Photographer
It's my Toronto International Film Festival joke.
It all starts with the publicist saying the same thing, "You have about a minute"
My reply is always the same, "I only need a sixtieth of a second"
My filmfest was relatively tame, I covered portraits mostly.
And was almost spared the press conference room and the sardine can sized photo pits of the red carpet.
The portrait sessions almost all work the same way, the paper is allocated 10, 15 or 20 minutes for an interview with a actor or director. The photographer will get a minute or two to shoot the portrait. The reporter will get the bulk of the time for the interview. Most of the interviews happen in the same hotel, ergo, almost the same room.
The result or the challenge is to try to make the pictures as diverse as possible.
The strategies for pictures vary and depend on how much time I have between assignments. If you have to do a picture at the beginning of the allotted time it is usually window light. If it is at the end of the interview there is some time to set up a light. And sometimes we have the option to shoot during the interview.
Sarah Polley was my first Toronto International Film Festival portrait. She directed Take this Waltz, I shot her in the hallway of the Sutton Place Hotel. I wish that the reporter would have clued me in that she was pregnant, but, the next couple groups of media teams were waiting so there was no opportunity. The Star had the exclusive on the story.
Johnny Rotten (John Lydon), the frontman for the late 70s original Punkers, The Sex Pistols. His facial expressions are a photographers bounty. The connection with Neil Young is interesting since Young suggested "its better to burn out, then it is to rust" when he included the reference to Johnny Rotten. (The King is gone, but not forgotten, is this the story of Johnny Rotten).
Bernard Weil/Chief Photographer/Multimedia
I had just returned the night before from a week long assignment photographing Tiger Woods at the Canadian Open in Montreal and hoped to get a few days off. That all changed when my father called to give me the news that a plane had struck the New York World Trade Center tower. Stunned at what I was watching on tv, I realized, just like everyone else on the planet, that it must be a terrorist attack.
After several calls to the office, I raced out the door en route to New York, picked up Star columnist Rosie Dimanno in St. Catharines and headed for the border despite false radio reports that it had been closed. My mind raced throughout the 11 hour drive as reports continued to stream in that Manhattan was sealed off and that the bridges to the island and other landmarks might be targeted for attack.
Once there, my concerns quickly changed to that of logistics. Power was out in the area and cellphone communication was impossible. The only way to transmit photos back to the Star would be to leave the secured area without any possible hope of getting back in. Luckily, a lone security guard in an evacuated building near ground zero pointed out a working phone jack that he'd let me use.
Below is a selection of images I took during the week I was there, most of them unpublished. The sites and smells will forever be burned in my mind. Little did I know at the time that the events that unfolded were a prelude to future 9/11 related assignments, return trips to ground zero and my eventual coverage of Canada's role in the war in Afghanistan.
Jason Read, with the Amwell Valley Rescue Company from Princeton, New Jersey, stands in front of the building that is directly opposite Building Seven, part of the World Trade Centre complex, September 12.
Bernard Weil, Chief Photographer/Multimedia
Earlier this summer, I had an opportunity to fly with Harley Lang, 77, a 30 year retired veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force, in his 1961 deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver, one of 1692 that were built.
Excluding the Great Lakes, Lake Nipissing, which means "big water", is the fifth largest lake in Ontario and drains into Georgian Bay. The lake is dotted with hundreds of islands, many of which are privately owned.
Viewed from beneath the wing on the port side over the West Arm of Lake Nipissing, Harley Lang flies over tiny islands that dot the lake. A GoPro Hero camera was mounted under the wing and programmed to take a picture every two seconds. A total of 1858 images were taken. See below for a time lapse video I created from the stills.
While the wing mounted camera did its job, I managed to capture a few interesting images from the cockpit. Above, hundreds of double crested cormorants desecrate island H7 in Louden Township, Nipissing District. In recent years, the birds have been blamed for the negative impact on fish stocks. The Ministry of Natural Resources states there are five nesting colonies located on various islands on the lake and they continue to monitor the population.
A boat meanders its way through a maze of islands.
Barely visible at far right, longtime Nipissing summer resident Elaine Drobeck waves to Harley as we fly over her summer retreat. Elaine and her husband Rip bought the island more than fourty years ago. Together with their two dogs, they make the car drive up each summer from their residence in Fredricksburg Texas.
Harley makes a smooth landing.
Video: Here's a link to a time lapse video I created from 1858 still images using a GoPro camera mounted under the wing during the flight: Click here
Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer
A look back at the month of August. Generally, a slower month as summer winds down, but this year weather related events and Jack Layton's death - and State Funeral - dominated the news. Here's a look back and both published, and unpublished, photos from The Toronto Star photo department.
JACK LAYTON - 1950-2011
08/25/11 - Olivia Chow, with her hands on her husband's casket, after it is placed in the rotunda of Toronto City Hall. (RICK MADONIK)