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2012 Richard Lautens' favourite photos

Richard Lautens - Staff Photographer - @rlautens

It's so hard to choose my favourite photos of the year.  Favourite photos are not always the best photos but ones I feel a real connection with for a variety of reasons.   I have my favourites of the bunch-do you?

After a major strike by mine workers, 46 people were killed in the ensuing clash between security, police and the workers.  The father of a slain miner, Mxolisi Sompeta is seen in their small family home in the village of Kwadick in South Africa.

Mxolisi Sompeta visits his son's grave in the backyard of the family home in the village of Kwadick in South Africa.

A woman walks through the small town of Hall Beach in Nunavut, in the foreground is a lament written on a handrail leading to one of only two stores in town.  It reads, "No Good.  I got no friends and I'm so bored!"  The community of Hall Beach in Nunavut grew because of the DEW line station built here in 1957 and shares in many of the problems of the north including substance abuse and isolation.

With precious little to do, a teenage girl hops along the ice covering the Foxe Basin around midnight in July in the town of Hall Beach (around 500 pop.) in Nunavut.

The DEW line site at Cape Dyer along the eastern edge of Baffin Island was the largest of the stations and one of the remaining two to be cleaned up.  The series of Distant Early Warning stations across Canada's arctic were built in the 1950s to warn of a Soviet threat. 

Reminiscent of a scene from Indiana Jones, 5,000 boxes of contaminated soil wait at the former DEW line site at Cape Dyer to be shipped south.  The clean up of all the sites costs tens of millions of dollars.

Mayor Rob Ford (left) stopped during a tour of the Royal Winter Fair in toronto to try his hand at the fine art of cow washing.

150 people came out to a rally that was held to support bus monitor and grandmother Karen Klein who was bullied by students on a bus in Greece, New York.  The video of her being bullied went viral and $750,000 was raised on her behalf.

On the day of his losing court battle to keep his job, Mayor Rob Ford went out to coach his football team.  With all the media scrutiny, you would think he might pay more attention to his clothing choice.

Toronto Maple Leaf GM, Brian Burke is seen watching practice in Vancouver.  Originally I was to go fishing with him on Vancouver Island but we were socked in with weather and had to settle for a night at an Irish pub watching hockey on TV instead. 

The body of Saint Maria Goretti went on display briefly at Saint Maria Goretti Parish in Scarborough.  Goretti died 110 years ago at age 11 after being sexually assaulted and stabbed in Italy. 

Mya Phillips, 2,  sits patiently for an all too familiar echocardiogram at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.
The Phillips family has four children, each of whom as well as the father all have abnormalities with their Phox2b gene that can cause cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory system problems.

Famed designers Colin (McAllistr) and Justin (Ryan) are seen on their top floor condo balcony beside the Rogers Centre.

Gangnam Style singer Psy is seen posing for me at the Ritz Carleton Hotel.  The Korean performer is actually a very serious artist who plays a part for his videos.

With the popularity of 'Fifty Shades of Grey', we found that by mid-July 4,931 women from Toronto had altered their profiles on the site seakingarrangements.com indicating they were looking for a Mr. Grey, in other words, a dominant/submissive relationship with BDSM.  Trish is one of those women who agreed to come to our studio.

A man takes a quiet stealth picture of Kat Brightwell 18 who has a TTC sticker on the outside of her underwear on Toronto's 5th annual no-pants day on the subway.

A rainy day in Chinatown in Toronto.

Carrie Underwood, an American Idol winner and now one of country's hottest stars, makes a grand entrance at her show at the Air Canada Centre.

A man rides the escalator and takes a cell phone photo of one of the art installations at Toronto's Metro Convention Centre.

In February, Toronto Raptor star forward Andrea Bargnani had been off the court with leg injuries for a while.  I had set up for the portrait in the players' lounge at the Air Canada Centre and he was supposed to show up wearing a fancy suit to give the photo a 'cotton club' kind of feel.  He came in a sweat suit instead!  It still worked though.

In June, a fan runs past Toronto Blue Jays first baseman David Cooper on second base at the Rogers Centre.  No word on whether or not his mom forgave him.

In April, fans try to haul down a foul ball hit by Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Desmond Jennings (8) at the Rogers Centre.

In February, Toronto Raptors point guard Jose Calderon gets a knee in the head courtesy of Detroit Pistons guard Walker Russell.

Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Wesley Johnson puts the defensive arm around Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan on a drive to the hoop.  I'm pretty sure it was a foul.

After 1 7/8 of a mile in the 7th race, Stolonboy (8) is neck and neck but beats Handy Harold (4 in behind).  Woodine Racetrack held it's last thoroughbred race day of the seasonand faces an uncertain future.

Argos Quarterback Ricky Ray goes through some unconventional drills prior to the Grey Cup.

A leg should not bend that way!  Edmonton back up quarterback,  Matt Nichols is seen with a leg injury with his left foot pointing the wrong direction during the CFL Eastern semi-final loss to the Argos.

See you next year.

Richard Lautens/Toronto Star

See Richard's best of 2010 and 2011.

Which picture was your favourite?

Leave a comment below and be entered into the end of year contest, details here.



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Caption even better than photo; Loved "(left)" to distinguish Mayor Ford from the cow he's washing.
... Mayor Rob Ford (left) stopped during a tour of the Royal Winter Fair in toronto to try his hand at the fine art of cow washing....

To the author of this article. How about we take pictures of you during your volunteer work? That way we can have the readers of The Toronto Star bash you. I don't agree with a lot of Mayor Ford's policies, however, one thing I will support is his dedication to coaching football. What do you do with your spare time? And could you provide a time and place where you can be photographed so we can all laugh and ridicule you.

Mxolisi Sompeta visits his son's grave is the best and story telling image. Very heart breaking image.

I love the sense of movement in the bicycle shot.

All of your photos are Great ,but I really like the teenage girl who hops along the ice covering Fox Basin
Thanks for sharing

Great work, Richard!

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