Independent Photography

Viva Bellevegas!


Goodbye Guelph – Hello Belleville, home of Loyalist College and it’s renowned photojournalism program.  My new base of operations, so to speak.

I’m going to work chronologically backwards to my last post and start with some pictures I shot this past Friday in Ottawa during the Idle No More protests surrounding the meetings between First Nations chiefs and the heads of Canada’s government and state.  The protest brought what seemed like thousands of First Nation’s people into the streets of Ottawa, as well as cities around the country, to protest the government, Bill-C45 and many other grievances.

Ottawa, Ontario - A demonstrator stands in front of the main entrance to the Prime Minister's Office, singing while holding the flag of British Columbia.  The protest, part of the 'Idle No More' movement, marched down Wellington street then peacefully surrounded the PMO before ending at Parliament hill.

Ottawa, Ontario – A demonstrator stands in front of the main entrance to the Prime Minister’s Office, singing while holding the flag of British Columbia. The protest, part of the ‘Idle No More’ movement, marched down Wellington street then peacefully surrounded the PMO before ending at Parliament hill.

I loved the picture above, until I found out another Loyalist student in second year took the EXACT same shot.  So I’ll have to get more creative next time.

Ottawa, Ontario - A demonstrator adjusts his mask during an 'Idle No More' protest on January 11. The protest coincided with a working meeting between some First Nation's chief's and a ceremonial meeting with the Governor General.

Ottawa, Ontario – A demonstrator adjusts his mask during an ‘Idle No More’ protest on January 11. The protest coincided with a working meeting between some First Nation’s chief’s and a ceremonial meeting with the Governor General.

This next picture I’m uncertain about, I think it looks cool, but a lot of it is just optical fanciness.  The lens has a minimum f stop of 1.4.  In laymen’s terms the lens has the ability to make an area the width of a coin appear sharp as a tack while blurring everything else almost past recognition.  In this case I did this to draw attention to the demonstrators hair.  Because we were in a crowd it was hard to make the hair prominent whilst making the crowd part of the background, so I used the lens wide open.  It worked, but like I said I’m uncertain.

Ottawa, Ontario - Demonstrators gather to listen to speeches in front of Parliament on January 11. The protest coincided with a working meeting between some First Nation's chief's and a ceremonial meeting with the Governor General.

Ottawa, Ontario – Demonstrators gather to listen to speeches in front of Parliament on January 11. The protest coincided with a working meeting between some First Nation’s chief’s and a ceremonial meeting with the Governor General.

The weekend before my friend and I travelled to Theresa Spence’s camp, she’s the Attawapiskat chief who has been fasting, consuming only tea and fish broth for the last month.  The island itself is located in the Ottawa River between Gatineau and Ottawa.  The symbology is perfect because the island is pretty much literally in the shadow of parliament.

Ottawa, Ontario - An indigenous youth looks on as Karl Keeshig, a civil servant with Aboriginal Affairs and a supporter of Idle No More, speaks to supporters outside the tent of Chief Theresa Spence on January 6, 2012.

Ottawa, Ontario – An indigenous youth looks on as Karl Keeshig, a civil servant with Aboriginal Affairs and a supporter of Idle No More, speaks to supporters outside the tent of Chief Theresa Spence on January 6, 2012.

So we took photos from around the camp and some of the happenings while we were there.

Ottawa, Ontario - Fred McGregor from Kitigan-zibi Anisinaeg First Nation near Maniwaki Quebec passes a bowl of tobacco during a ceremony at Chief Theresa Spence's camp on Victoria Island in Ottawa on January 6, 2012.  The tobacco was collected in a bowl and burned as a prayer.

Ottawa, Ontario – Fred McGregor from Kitigan-zibi Anisinaeg First Nation near Maniwaki Quebec passes a bowl of tobacco during a ceremony at Chief Theresa Spence’s camp on Victoria Island in Ottawa on January 6, 2012. The tobacco was collected in a bowl and burned as a prayer.

I wasn’t able to get a picture of her though.  The supporters in the camp were very welcoming, but we were told we could not take pictures near the sacred fire.  Spence was on the other side of this fire flanked by tarps and wind blinds.  There was no way to get a picture without being immediately removed by some angry supporter, and it would have been grossly disrespectful.

While Idle No More has largely been my focus since I got to Belleville, in the month before coming to school I had been fascinated by the growing teacher’s unrest.  In Guelph in early December Elementary teachers staged a one-day walkout as part of a series of province-wide one-day strikes to protest new legislation, which would eliminate their right to strike and other collective bargaining rights.

Guelph, Ontario - Lisa MacPherson, a kindergarten teacher at Sir Isaack Brock Elementary school, shares a laugh with colleagues on the picket line.  MacPherson is one of 700 Guelph teachers who picketed the constituency office of MPP Liz Sandals, during a one day strike on December 14.

Guelph, Ontario – Lisa MacPherson, a kindergarten teacher at Sir Isaack Brock Elementary school, shares a laugh with colleagues on the picket line. MacPherson is one of the many Guelph elementary teachers who picketed the constituency office of MPP Liz Sandals, during a one day strike on December 14.

In the days leading up to the strike I emailed several news outlets to say I would be there, looking to see if there was any interest.  I received an email from the Canadian Press while I was at the event asking if I could call when I had photos.  After working at top speed, I rushed home, the nearest source of Internet, and started editing.  The photos were filed by noon and by 2pm I was elbow deep in dish water at the café I was working at.  The universe raises up and casts down.

350 elementary school teachers from Guelph picketed the constituency office of MPP Liz Sandals during a one day strike on Friday December 14.

Guelph, Ontario – Elementary school teachers from Guelph picketed the constituency office of MPP Liz Sandals during a one day strike on Friday December 14.

My pictures ran briefly on the Guelph Mercury’s website, as well as in print and online with the Toronto Star and online with CTV.  It was my second time selling pictures to a wire and reminded me why this is where I want to work some day.  It’s so exciting to send in your pics, then wait and watch where they appear and in some cases where they don’t.

Guelph, Ontario - Picketers pass by the constituency office of MPP LIz Sandals during a one day strike on December 14.  The strike is part of a series of rolling strikes around the province to protest changes in legislation which the teachers say will limit their bargaining rights.

Guelph, Ontario – Picketers pass by the constituency office of MPP LIz Sandals during a one day strike on December 14. The strike is part of a series of rolling strikes around the province to protest changes in legislation which the teachers say will limit their bargaining rights.

Prior to December though, I wasn’t doing a whole lot.  Some personal stuff and some commercial stuff.  But I was mostly saving money for school and taking it easy.  I did finally process the remaining rolls of film I had from Costa Rica.  There is still one more stage though, I need to actually print pictures from the negatives.  I finally got a hold of the remaining printing equipment I needed, thanks to the generosity of my aunt’s dad.  However, when I moved to Belleville I brought the equipment, but forgot the negatives.

Image

This photo is a a digital picture of my negative. I literally handheld the neg in front of a light and photographed it with my digital camera held in the other hand. This is a church in Nicaragua, photographed during my short visit there at the beginning of June 2012. corrected it in photoshop.

Needless to say if a crude scanning method looks like this I REALLY want to print them soon.

Image

‘Scanned’ using the same method as the previous photo, this is actually in Ottawa, during a visit after I got back in August 2012.

SO from this point forward my posts will focus on my progress through Loyalist College’s photojournalism program.  That should mean I’m shooting a lot more and have more to post.  What’s exciting for me is it gives me the chance to return to some of my old haunts in Ottawa, like this weekend for example.  Hopefully I’ll be able to shoot some sports at Carleton.

Until the next post.

Adam Dietrich

P.S. To the staff at With the Grain, thank you for making this fall way better than it might have been.  A definably crappy job was made much, much better because of you guys, dishwashing was never so good, so thanks… a lot.

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