Keith Beaty - Staff Photographer - @keithbeaty
Steve Russell - Staff Photographer
In my locker at work I have a copy of the book "From See to See: National Newspaper Awards: 50 Years of Photojournalism", it covers the winning images of the awards until 1998. Every so often I take the book out with me to try to get the photographers that have won in the past to sign their page.
The page with the 1992 Sports Photography is unsigned. Unfortunately I never got Mike Cassese to sign his page, I never thought I would have trouble getting him to sign that page. I saw him at games and events around the city all the time.
Mike passed away this week.
Mike was a super nice guy and a great photographer, our Canadian photo community is mourning his loss. We miss him.
Mike was a staffer at the Toronto Sun before leaving to freelance, mostly for Reuters.
That 1992 picture was taken for the Toronto Sun at the World Series, Mike had captured Kelly Gruber tagging Deion Sanders for what would have been the final out on the first triple play in World Series since 1920. The umpire missed the call, Mike did not miss the picture.
Jim Rankin, Reporter-Photographer - @jleerankin
As a photojournalist, this is one of my favourite times of the year. It's when I get a chance to slow down just long enough to look back and marvel at the great photography and multimedia my peers here at the Star and elsewhere have produced over the past 12 months. It's also a chance to reflect and be thankful for another year in a job that I continue to love.
Here are some highlights from my 2012.
As a reporter-photographer, it's not often that I get to concentrate solely on visuals. It's also not often that I get to work with my better half, Michelle Shephard, the Star's national security reporter. The last time the two of us worked together on the road was during the big ice storm in 1998. Michelle pitched a trip to Yemen, where she has reported from in the past. This time, she had a group of young skateboarders in mind. The Arabian Skaters are something of an oddity in old Sanaa, Yemen's capital city. Locals believe the boards stick to feet through some sort of magic. The boys and their stories served as a perfect means to revisit the state of the country, post-revolution, and take a look into the future.
We had six days on the ground to produce a number of other stories and a multimedia package.
Skaters of Sanaa (video)
Driving in Sanaa (video)
My colleague Paul Hunter, a great hockey writer who now works on the features team, and I teamed up to pull together a collection of war stories from vets and others who have worked in conflict zones. The result was a 20,000-word e-read, which is available for free at www.stardispatches.com (scroll down to "Free trial offer").
I decided black and white worked best for the portraits that accompanied the stories. I shot all of them using a backdrop that I hand made back in my days at Ryerson University, where I studied still photography for a couple years. Here are a few from the series.
This and that
Being on the feature writing team means I'm not shooting as often as our straight photo/video shooters. Some days, just for a break, I take a walk with the cameras and go feature hunting.
Doing both photography and writing has its problems. Sometimes, you don't do either any justice. One of the benefits, however, is that your photographer and writer are always on the same page.
Ella Hung for a Canada Day feature on ethnic enclaves and integration.
Audette Shephard lost her son Justin to gun violence.
All that remains of the Kodak plant in Toronto's Weston neighbourhood. This was for a series on police documenting of citizens in non-criminal encounters.
I'll close out with a few of my favourite images form this past year. They come from that trip to Yemen.
I was out in Sanaa with the skateboarders on one of the only mornings that the sun managed to appear. Seriously, we're talking biblical rains. Every day. Along came these kids, splashing through runoff.
Happy New Year!
Which picture was your favourite?
Leave a comment below and be entered into the end of year contest, details here.
I was assigned to make a weather feature this morning after the big snowfall so I went to the beach expecting to find some cross-country skiers. To my surprise, these guys were just getting ready to go surfing!
Darryl Spreen waxes his board as he prepares to catch a few waves in Lake Ontario after a fresh snowfall in Toronto. About 10 cm. of snow had fallen on the city by early Thursday morning. December 27, 2012. RANDY RISLING/TORONTO STAR
Rene Johnston - Staff Photographer - @ReneJohnston1
Montage of Chris Mazza as he testifies at Queens Park. The long-waited, and much-delayed, testimony before a legislative committee, Mazza said Wednesday he "always acted with the best interests of Ontario residents in mind."
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Randy Risling - @randyrisling
When Steve asked me to post a few pix from 2012, these are the images that instantly came to mind. Seeing as it's a blog, I'll write personal captions instead of the originals. The guidelines are to observe and not get emotionally involved, but these selects come straight from the heart:
Mohammed Shamden was trying to flee from Syria to Turkey when he was ambushed by Syrian forces. His pregnant wife was shot and killed along with the driver. It was easy to tell that he loved his wife more than anything and his saddness was heartbreaking.
We take a break for our collection of year end blogs.
Here is a collection of some of our Christmas and Holiday pictures leading into this season.
Carlos Osorio - Staff Photographer - @CarlosOsorio
Here are some of the photographs and stories that stuck with me in 2012.
Andrew Francis Wallace - Staff Photographer - @awallacethestar
A high performance Audi R8, priced $134,000, caught on fire on the Toronto Gardiner Expressway in the early evening, June 25, 2012. No one was injured, and the roadway opened shortly after firefighters extinguished the blaze.