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.
Steve Russell - Staff Photographer - @RussellPhotos
Rob Wernaart cares for Bitchy at his home outside of Toronto. Bitchy is a working Harris hawk in Toronto whose mere presence is enough to scare away gulls at BMO Field and the Molson Ampitheatre.Wernaart, is a wildlife management specialist.
Rob Wernaart, loads Bitchy into her travelling box for the drive into the city for a gig at the Molson Amphitheatre for the John Mayer concert. Her box has air holes below her sightlines so she does not get motion sick.
Steve Russell - Staff Photographer - @RussellPhotos
"It's like déjà vu all over again."
If you missed the Blue Jays 99th game of the season, you need not have worried, the Jays offered up a rerun for game 100.
The two games were almost identical, the Los Angels Dodgers jump out to am early lead, Jays come back, Dodgers come back and win.
If the fans on that emotional roller coaster that ends with a puch to the solar plexus noticed it, photographers notice it too.
But we have the added stress that game story is being re-written by the half inning in a game that is well into its fourth hour.
The pressure to file is tempered by the fact that we fear being stuck under the stands missing a pivotal play.
Here are the two games in photos,
Déjà vu - Brett Lawrie's pregame stretch
Toronto Star journalist Paul Watson was in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 when a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter was shot down.
With rumors circulating that the body of an American soldier was being dragged through the streets by an angry mob, Watson went out to verify .
The resulting image of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant William David Cleveland being dragged and beaten was published in the Toronto Star and in many American newspapers, it would win the National Newspaper Award for Spot News Photography and would win the Pulitzer Prize and is his submission in the PhotoSensitive Picture Change exhibit.
The Public outrage that followed publication forced the Americans to end the war.
Rose Achayo wants to show me something.
She pulls down the front of her pretty blue and black dress to show off the ugly, dark scars across her chest. Rose says members of the Lord’s Resistance Army stabbed her with a bayonet after she dropped a heavy load of rice she’d been carrying for many miles.
Michelle Shephard – National Security Correspondent & author - @shephardm
Over nearly 17 years of journalism at the Star, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and interviewing hundreds of fascinating people, from presidents, to a few fellows on the UN “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” list. Many interviews I will likely never forget. One, I know I won’t. It was this story and photo of a Somali brave teenager named Ismail Khalif Abdulle that I chose for the “Picture Change” exhibit – a PhotoSensitive show I was incredibly honoured to be asked to contribute to because I consider myself a reporter with a camera (who’s still learning to be a photographer).
This is the story behind the photo, as adapted from my book, which I dedicate in part to Ismail, “my hero.”
The photo was taken in Mogadishu in January 2010, in a government compound known as “Villa Somalia.” A contact of mine from Toronto had wanted me to meet three teenagers who had had a hand and foot amputated by Al Qaeda’s regional proxy, Al Shabab. My time was tight. I was traveling with African Union peacekeepers and staying on their guarded compound. My convoy wouldn’t travel at night and was leaving with or without me. Ismail, the youngest of the group at 17, and who looked about 13, was the most eager to talk. He said he was punished because the Shabab wanted him to join their group. He wanted to go to school so said, ‘No.’ They kidnapped him, dragged them into a stadium and cut off his right hand before a crowd. As he passed out from the pain, they severed his left foot. He awoke in captivity. They would further torture him before he managed to escape, six months before we met.
Through a Somali translator, I asked him if we could go toward a window, where the light was better. He immediately jumped up, retrieved a red chair, reached down to remove his prosthetic leg and crossed the stump of his left leg across his right knee. His shirt cuff hung loosely over the raw skin where his right hand used to be. I tried to steady the lens but immediately started to cry as he looked directly into the camera, sweating. I only had time to take about a dozen frames. He asked me, “Can you take me back to Canada?”
I saw Ismail looking at a Canadian flag pinned to my bag. I fumbled to take it off, clumsily handing it to him as I ran to catch the convoy. It slipped from his fingers, and he dropped it. As I left the hall, struggling to put on my helmet and flak jacket, I looked over my shoulder to get a last glimpse of Ismail. He was hunched over, digging frantically through the couch cushions with one hand, searching for the stupid pin.
I thought I’d never see him again. Thankfully, I was wrong.
His story mobilized Toronto’s Somali diaspora and one man in particular, former Reuters’ photojournalist and friend, Sahal Abdulle. Sahal was living in Nairobi at the time and vowed to save Ismail. Nine months later I was with him in Nairobi when, after a harrowing and tense trip, Ismail managed to escape Mogadishu. Again, the tears came as I struggled to take their photo in the Nairobi market where they first hugged.
Sahal said he would become Ismail’s adoptive father, until they could find a country to offer refuge. But Norway accepted him quickly on an emergency basis. And in January 2011, one year after we first met, I accompanied Sahal and Ismail to Harstad, Norway, a beautiful city of 23,500, about 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, where Ismail now lives happily and goes to school. He has learned to run in the snow and speak Norwegian.
We keep in touch via Facebook. I hope one day he’ll get to Canada, too.
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 couple weeks at the Royal Bank Plaza Terrace, 200 Bay Street, between the tower and the Royal York Hotel. From there the display will move to another location in the city.
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.