Rick Madonik - Staff photographer - @Rmadonik
Rick Madonik - Staff photographer - @Rmadonik
We begin with a look back at Jack...
RANDY RISLING - Olivia Chow works on the Jack Layton Memorial sculpture titled "Jack's Got Your Back" at MST Bronze in Etobicoke. The sculpture was unveiled on the second anniversary of Jack's death, August 22 at the Toronto Island Ferry Terminal. Olivia holds a Fine Arts degree and is a trained sculptor.
WARNING - There is GRAPHIC CONTENT in this blog which may offend some people.
Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer, @Rmadonik
PhotoSensitive's Picture Change is now on display at Royal Bank Plaza's Terrace (200 Bay Street) and will be there for a few weeks. It will then travel to six other locations around Toronto, and I hope you will find the opportunity to walk through the exhibit. It is a strong reminder to us all how important still images are.
One hundred photographers submitted photographs under the theme of Picture Change, in other words, how a picture has caused change. The exhibit showcases a collection of photographs from a host of very talented people from across the country. The idea was formulated and organized under the auspices of PhotoSensitive (http://www.photosensitive.com), a collective of photographers formed years ago. One of the founding members is former Star photographer, Andrew Stawicki.
Jim Rankin - Reporter/Photographer - @Jleerankin
Over the years, I’ve had an opportunity to be part of a number of PhotoSensitive projects and much of the reward is in seeing the work of fellow photographers involved in those projects. Some, I know personally and others by name and reputation. But mostly, I know their photographs. When I hear one of their names, I picture not their face, but one or more of their images.
For this project, I chose a picture that I think makes people stop and think. Change minds? I’d like to hope so.
It’s also a picture I’ve dined out on. It’s the only sort of famous picture I’ve made since I first picked up a camera at the age of 12. So, what follows is the story behind “Old Glory.” It’s a reprint of an article I wrote for the Star on the one-year anniversary of the 2001 9/11 attacks on America.
On the Friday after the attacks in New York City and Washington, the people of Boston — a city used as a launching pad for two of the four hijacked planes —marked a national day of mourning by gathering at places of prayer.
After three straight days of focusing on lax security at Logan International Airport, I went looking for something that conveyed the feeling of the day. I slung my cameras over my shoulders and headed for the Old North Church in Boston's Little Italy.
It's the neighbourhood where Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty plotted the American Revolution over beer, and where lanterns hung from the Old North Church steeple signalled advancing British troops and led to Revere's midnight ride to warn the colonists.
On this afternoon, so many years later, an overflow crowd filled the narrow street outside the old, storied church. A light rain began to fall, and with the exception of the hum of a couple of television satellite trucks, the street was silent. Some people wept. Others clutched rosaries tight to their chests.
Genetta Giudice was in her apartment window, looking down on the scene. It was hard to miss her sullen, time-weary face and the tattered U.S. flag hanging from her window ledge. I zoomed in on the window and made over a dozen frames of Giudice and the flag.
It was one of those rare times when you instantly know you have captured something special.
As it turned out, there was also something special about the old flag. After the service was over, I went looking for the old woman in the window and met her brother, Nick Giudice, in a corner store below the apartment. The flag was his — a keepsake from the time he served in the U.S. navy during the Second World War. It had flown on the mast of the USS Sims, a destroyer that was sunk by the Japanese on May 7, 1942.
The afternoon was turning into late afternoon and a deadline was looming. I had yet to convert to digital. I had my film souped at a downtown photo shop, did a quick edit on a light table there, and chose the image you see here as the one I would send back home. Due to a bum picture transmitting kit, I relied on a copy shop to scan and burn the image on to a CD. I then used a public computer to e-mail the picture to The Star's photo desk.
On a day when U.S. President George W. Bush had toured Ground Zero, and with hundreds of images from that visit and other prayer services around the world pouring in over the wires, editors back at The Star decided to put Genetta Giudice and the flag on the front page. In doing so, they shared with you what will, for me, always be a telling moment in very uncertain, extraordinary times.
Skip ahead 12 years. I think the photo speaks as much today about the state of things globally.
The new exhibition produced by PhotoSensitive, Picture Change, features one photo from over 100 of the top Canadian photographers, including several Toronto Star journalists. The exhibit is a body of work highlighting the way that photography can make a positive change in the world. It might be a photo that inspired action among the public, one that helped bring about a change in law or one that simply forced its viewers to re-think their preconceived ideas. The exhibit opened Tuesday July 16th and will be on display for a month at the Royal Bank Plaza Terrace, 200 Bay Street, between the tower and the Royal York Hotel.
Steve Russell - Staff Photographer - @RussellPhotos
He sat facing the window, his face in his hand, he was weeping.
I put down my camera and put my hand on his shoulder and let him cry.
It was my first visit with Lewis Wheelan, a triple amputee at Sunnybrook Hospital, I would follow him for six months along with reporter Moira Welsh.
After Lewis had composed himself, I sat down beside him and explained that if that happened it again I would photograph it. These were things I was just beginning to talk to him about when he broke down.
Maybe I didn't take the picture that day because I saw in Lewis myself 15 years earlier. A student-athlete who was working a crappy summer job in Northern Ontario. The difference was Lewis' summer job changed his life forever.
On his second day of work clearing brush from under hydro lines, he was injured when a tree was cut nearby hitting a power line, landing on him and arcing three times hitting him with 7,200 volts and setting the brush around him on fire. The injuries left Lewis with severe burns and he had three limbs amputated.
After that first meeting Lewis, I hung out with him whenever my schedule allowed it, sometimes taking pictures sometimes watching a hockey game.
The pivotal moment in the image I submitted for the Photosensitive Picture Change project happened a couple months later.
Lewis was eager to get prosthetic legs and begin to try to walk again. In several fittings he found that the legs never really fit right and were too painful to wear. In the picture Lewis decides that after a painful session with a prosthetic technician at Sunnybrooke Hospital he won't try to walk anymore.
Bernard Weil - Team Editor - @bernardweil
When PhotoSensitive announced their latest exhibit called Picture Change, I had just completed a photo essay and video for the Star, with reporter Tim Alamenciak and photo editor Wanda Goodwin, documenting the plight of fourteen-month-old Jesse Arrigo, who is undergoing intense therapies, some controversial, following a drowning in a backyard pond in 2012. At the time, doctors said he would never walk, possibly be blind or deaf and have to be fed through tubes for the rest of his life.
I witnessed change on several levels. First was the efforts of family and friends rallying behind Jesse's cause that is truly an inspirational example of the type of change that we as compassionate human beings must do to help one another. For Jesse's mother Kristin Arrigo, this change is for life.
It was also important for me to raise the issue, through my images, the need for change in our understanding of certain medical procedures not covered by OHIP. In this case, Baby Jesse has been undergoing hyperbaric chamber treatment, an hour a day, five days a week, at an enormous financial cost to the family. Despite warnings on Health Canada's website about this form of treatment, the family says Jesse's change has been dramatic, thanks in large part to the hyberbaric chamber treatment. The medical community agrees that more research is needed in this area.
Fourteen month old Jesse Arrigo and his mother Kristin lie quietly in a hyperbaric chamber at the Ontario Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Centre in Toronto. Jesse survived a near drowning in a backyard garden pond. From what the family has learned they are looking not at months, but years of therapy not covered by OHIP. Friends, family and the community have rallied behind Jesse's struggle, helping to raise funds for the many therapies required.
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Steve Russell, Staff Photographer, @RussellPhotos
It is always strange when a long time player gets traded or retires.
I seem to always think about the pictures that they gave me.
Andrea Bagnani, numero sette, was a challenge for photographers. His teammates had that one trait that photogaphers love. Great expressive faces. (see links below)
Andrea's face revealed nothing!
Oddly enough his face factors in my favourite story about him.
I was tasked with photographing him for our season kick off section.
I had ideas, I was promised time, I scouted Italian tailor shops, restaurants and magic venues.
Something magic happened, the time frame I was promised vanished, ergo, the big concept photoshoot.
I was given a 15 minute window in between events at a venue I had never seen before.
I was limited to a simple portrait.
Struggling for an idea I found some old raptor tattoos.
I pasted one on the seven footer's face and snapped a couple frames.
Time to go!
Problem, the tattoo wasn't coming off after the shoot!
Took a lot of elbow grease and a few Italian words, don't think he was thanking me, to get the tattoo off.
Steve Russell - Staff Photographer - @RussellPhotos
Retired Toronto Star photographer Boris Spremo, his career spanned four decades,will be inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame in October.
Here is just a very small sample of his images over the years.
We included a couple from Boris' favourite subjects, Trudeau and the CN Tower!
In an emotional outpouring of joy that even heavy rain could not dampen, Toronto fans went wild at the return home of Team Canada after winning the Summit Series in 1972. Here, as they festoon themselves along the concrete arcs over City Hall pool in Nathan Phillips Square last night, they cheered themselves hoarse for their hockey heroes, who beat Soviet national team by four games to three after a disastrous start to the eight-game series that made many experts fear possible defeat and humiliation.
Garth Drabinsky back at centre stage -``I've been involved in the varied facets of the arts for the last 25 years, and I expect to be involved for at least the next 25,'' Former LIVENT boss Garth Drabinsky tells very few media representatives at the Bluma Appel Theatre. Drabinsky confirmed he will mount Athol Fugard's "The Island".
Toronto Star photographer Boris Spremo's NNA award winning picture of John Diefenbaker in Barbados. Diefenbaker is pictured in silhouette reading in a lounge chair during this period when he was writing his memoirs.
Spremo and the Pope, or as the Pope.
A quick story about Boris on this Papal tour...
George Chuvalo. Spremo and the Champ were quite close. Boris even gave the heaveyweight some lessons and George loved to take pictures.
Boris and the CN Tower.
Perched 440 meters above Toronto and 9 meters out from the growing CN Tower iron worker Larry Porter pulls at the hook of giant crane as he installs the outriggers that will be used to lift the restaurant.
Other Retired Toronto Star Photographers