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Lucas Oleniuk: The Year In Review

Lucas Oleniuk - Staff Photographer - @LucasOleniuk

The year was a mixed bag of stories and travels that introduced me to a varied cast of characters and put me in some intersting locations.  

One location I will remember well is the edge of runaway 24R at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. That is where I produced this collage portraying the airport’s busiest day of the year.

Read the story behind the image and have a look at Randy Risling's accompanying video:

In the Photographers Words



Soon after, I was assigned to cover the proposed route of the contentious Keystone XL pipeline with our Washington Bureau Chief Mitch Potter.

Please watch the documentary: The Battle for Nebraska's Sandhills

Nebraska rancher Karl Connell.

Sandhills activist Jane Kleeb.


Later this summer I was sent to cover a high school graduation in Toronto.  I took the opportunity to shoot some black and white 4x5 negatives that were printed and scanned for publication.





Another fascinating assignment came my way when Star writer Michelle Shephard paved the way for a feature on khat production in Kenya.  Khat, called Miraa in Kenya, is a mild stimulant that is popular in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

Watch the video: The Kenyan Khat Road


When the City of Detroit announced that it would start laying off firefighters at the end of the summer, I travelled to the troubled city with writer Bill Schiller.  We focused on Detroit’s catastrophic arson problem and looked at the men and women who risked their lives in an attempt to control the daily burn.






In September I covered a portion of the Toronto International Film Festival.

"Seven Psychopaths"


I spent one memorable evening near the Bowmanville Zoo with the Hackenberger family and their elephant Limba. I photographed a family outing outing off their property to the neighboring Soper Creek. It was fascinating to see an elephant move freely like this in a Canadian environment.





Assignments to cover Major League Baseball were once again plentiful.  On one rare occasion a heavy rain shower interrupted a Blue Jay game when the retractable roof of Toronto's Rogers Center malfunctioned.

Fans reach for a foul ball during a heavy rain at the Rogers Center in the sixth inning of the August 4, Blue Jay-Oriole game.


Towards the end of the year I was assigned to produce a project focusing on autism spectrum disorder. After a gigantic effort from a team of Star writers, editors and producer Randy Risling, The Autism Project was published in November. I encourage you to watch all of the short documentaries here: The Autism Project

Here is one of the seven shorts: Groundhog Day: The Anton Sellin Story

Anton Sellin

Please read: A hard sentence, a gentle soul


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I love the airplane collage of a certain runway at YYZ.
I remember seeing the original when it was printed and had to do a double-take. To this day, it catches my eye.
Lovely work

I remember the YYZ shot as well. Great idea Lucas!

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