Independent Photography

In the thick of it


This Loyalist PhotoJ program is pretty intensive…

As of right now I have a few projects ongoing and essentially an assignment due every school day in March.  I should clarify this is not me complaining, but rather just me remarking on a fact.  Frankly I’m relishing the pace and pressure, although this week (break week) has been a much needed respite.  It’s allowed me catch up on homework and sleep, resume blogging and reinstall Civilization IV (because it is better than V).

But I digress…

The week before break week I finally got around to shooting the local OHL team, the Belleville Bulls I timed it so I got to see them play the Ottawa 67’s, the OHL team from the city I lived in for the last several years.  I wanted to see the Guelph Storm, but they’re in a different division and don’t play Belleville very much.

The game was good although incredibly high scoring with the Bulls winning 8-5.  It was also pretty dirty, a few fights and some nasty penalty-deserving plays in the third period.  I’ve never photographed hockey at this level before, really the only practice I had was with the Carleton University Ravens and they’re just not as fast or aggressive as their OHL counterparts.  It also gave me the chance to practice in game filing, meaning I shot the first period then found a spot, pulled out my laptop and edited and captioned my pics from the first period before the start of the second.

BELLEVILLE Ont. (20/02/13) - Ottawa 67's left winger Connor Brown takes a shot on goal during a game against the Belleville Bulls in Belleville Ontario on February 20. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

BELLEVILLE Ont. (20/02/13) – Ottawa 67’s left winger Connor Brown takes a shot on goal during a game against the Belleville Bulls in Belleville Ontario on February 20. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

I spent a lot of time trying to anticipate plays rather than follow the action, goalies make for great places to anticipate.

BELLEVILLE Ont. (20/02/13) - Ottawa 67's goalie Jacob Blair falls to the ice after blocking a shot on goal during a game against the Belleville Bulls in Belleville Ontario on February 20. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

BELLEVILLE Ont. (20/02/13) – Ottawa 67’s goalie Jacob Blair falls to the ice after blocking a shot on goal during a game against the Belleville Bulls in Belleville Ontario on February 20. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

This photo is missing a few elements to make a good pic for a newspaper, but as just a picture I like it.

BELLEVILLE Ont. (20/02/13) - Belleville Bulls goalie Charlie Graham lets in a shot during a game against the Ottawa 67's in Belleville Ontario on February 20. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

BELLEVILLE Ont. (20/02/13) – Belleville Bulls goalie Charlie Graham lets in a shot during a game against the Ottawa 67’s in Belleville Ontario on February 20. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

At the risk of inundating this blog post with hockey pictures I will cut it off there and continue.

The weekend before I was once again in my adoptive hometown of Ottawa.  This time I went to Edge Nightclub, up above Sparks and Bank St. with some friends for a special outdoor drag show.  The club is Ottawa’s only gay nightclub, I’m told there are many gays bars and places with a bar/club but Edge is the just nightclub place.  It’s also home to one of Ottawa most successful drag queens Icesis Couture.

It was a frigid affair, hosted on Edge’s rooftop patio, you could hear the music two blocks over on Metcalfe St, and the club had put out heaters on the patio, but I would argue there were not enough.

The performance was pretty awesome, although I was told Icesis’ hair was tamer than it normally is…

OTTAWA Ont. (16/2/13) - Icesis Couture, one of Ottawa's most successful drag-queens, performs at Edge Nightclub in Ottawa on February 16.  (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

OTTAWA Ont. (16/2/13) – Icesis Couture, one of Ottawa’s most successful drag-queens, performs at Edge Nightclub in Ottawa on February 16. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

The day before going to Ottawa Justin Trudeau came to Loyalist College as part of a promotional tour.  The college had secretly arranged an emotional presentation for Trudeau, which you can view here, you can also see me in action at the start of the video while he’s walking down the hall. The reason I’m not going to talk about it is I missed the golden moment, I had to leave the presentation early because I had to get to a class, and though for this I would have skipped class I couldn’t really.  The week before car trouble had me stranded in Ottawa for a week and I skipped a bunch of classes, following that I felt I couldn’t skip anymore.  Plus my teacher’s reaction when I said might be late went like this:

“Hi, so I might be late I’m shooting Trudeau.”

“Yeah… so is everyone else.”

“…”

“Get your pics quickly and come to class”

“Ok.”

So I left when I thought the thing was almost over, still cutting it close, and while I was in class Trudeau gets presented with a photo and tears up.  Again check the link.

BELLEVILLE, Ont (14/2/13) - MP and Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau is scrummed by students from Loyalist College's Photojournalism program during a tour of the college in Belleville Ontario on February 14.  Trudeau has been touring post-secondary institutions as part of his campaign. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

BELLEVILLE, Ont (14/2/13) – MP and Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau is scrummed by students from Loyalist College’s Photojournalism program during a tour of the college in Belleville Ontario on February 14. Trudeau has been touring post-secondary institutions as part of his campaign. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

During the weekend before while staying at my friend’s place I was able to complete my spot news assignment.  I was at his place on Flora St. when I saw on Twitter that a car had flipped on its roof a block away at Bronson.  I raced out and snapped some pics of the fire crews righting it and towing it away.  I also got a chance to talk to the driver, who was unscathed amazingly.  He said he swerved to avoid a car and clipped the edge of the snow bank and then the car flipped.

OTTAWA, Ont. (10/2/13) - Emergency crews attended to a single car accident at Bronson St. and Flora St. on February 10.  The car was removed by a tow-truck, the driver, who was the single occupant was not injured. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

OTTAWA, Ont. (10/2/13) – Emergency crews attended to a single car accident at Bronson St. and Flora St. on February 10. The car was removed by a tow-truck, the driver, who was the single occupant was not injured. (Photo by Adam Dietrich)

Stepping back further into January, I skipped school on 28th of January.  I don’t normally do that but I was in Ottawa that weekend and I found out there was an Idle No More Day of action on the Monday.  I was also buying a car that weekend.  So Monday morning I photographed the protest, which was much, much smaller than the one two weeks earlier, then bussed out to South Keys to pick up my fancy not-new ’96 Mazda 626, oh yeah.  It runs pretty nicely and I got to test it out driving back to Belleville that night, the snow in the day turned to sleet and freezing rain that night and a 2.5 hour drive became four.

OTTAWA, Ont. (1/28/13) - Idle No More protestors make their way down Wellington St. to Parliament Hill in Ottawa Ontario on January 28.  The protest was part of a national day of action and saw dramatically diminished numbers compared to the same event which happened two weeks prior.  The march originated on Victoria Island in the Ottawa river where Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence had been protesting by consuming only tea and fish broth for a month. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

OTTAWA, Ont. (1/28/13) – Idle No More protestors make their way down Wellington St. to Parliament Hill in Ottawa Ontario on January 28. The protest was part of a national day of action and saw dramatically diminished numbers compared to the same event which happened two weeks prior. The march originated on Victoria Island in the Ottawa river where Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence had been protesting by consuming only tea and fish broth for a month. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

Also that weekend I assisted a friend on an engagement shoot on the Saturday, we were in Alymer Quebec and I noticed tons of ice fishing huts.  The next day I came back with my gear to shoot what Loyalist calls ‘feature photos’ basically just a fun photo of things happening.  In this case because we had so much leeway I borrowed Loyalists 300mm f/2.8 which is a big obnoxious white lens weighing 2.5kg (5.6 lbs), I also own a 2x teleconverter which doubles the focal length of your lens, so I wandered around with the 600mm and discreetly photographed ice fishers.  Our news photography teacher loved the ridiculous telephoto and wanted to know if I’d ever stacked converters, I haven’t yet…

OTTAWA, Ont. (27/01/13) - A man ice fishes in the Ottawa River near Alymer, Que. on Jan. 27, 2013.  The river was frozen enough to allow snowmobiles and cars to drive over it following an especially cold weeks which saw temperatures of minus 40 making Ottawa the coldest Capital on Earth. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

OTTAWA, Ont. (27/01/13) – A man ice fishes in the Ottawa River near Alymer, Que. on Jan. 27, 2013. The river was frozen enough to allow snowmobiles and cars to drive over it following an especially cold weeks which saw temperatures of minus 40 making Ottawa the coldest Capital on Earth. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

That weekend though I was mostly in Ottawa for Raven’s basketball, I was trying to get four assignments done in one weekend and I succeeded, sports feature, sports action, sequence photo and portfolio.  Talk about efficiency, three classes, four assignments in two games.

The second game I was specifically looking for features, so I spent little time shooting the game and more time shooting everything else.

OTTAWA, Ont. (1/25/13) - Joe Scanlon, a blogger with the Carleton University Athletics, takes notes as the Ravens sink another three-point during a home game on January 25 in Ottawa.  The Ravens are once again the number one seeded team in the league going into the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Final 8 championship. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

OTTAWA, Ont. (1/25/13) – Joe Scanlon, a blogger with the Carleton University Athletics, takes notes as the Ravens sink another three-point during a home game on January 25 in Ottawa. The Ravens are once again the number one seeded team in the league going into the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Final 8 championship. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

That was the second weekend in Ottawa shooting Ravens basketball, the previous weekend I decided to come up for something to do and ended up doing that.  I also managed to double up on another assignment, for news photography we had to shoot a collector for what is known as an ‘environmental portrait,’ basically a person known for something photographed in the context of that something.  In this case the something a collection.  My friend’s roommate collects ‘physical media’ meaning DVD’s, Books and Comics, and has one big shelf dedicated to each collection, alphabetized, I ended up using the pics for our portfolio class and our lighting class in addition to news photography.

OTTAWA, Ont. (19/01/13) - Daniel Link a self-proclaimed 'collector of physical media' poses amongst his collection in his Ottawa, Ontario home on January 19. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

OTTAWA, Ont. (19/01/13) – Daniel Link a self-proclaimed ‘collector of physical media’ poses amongst his collection in his Ottawa, Ontario home on January 19. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

After shooting the portraits I went to Carleton to shake the cobwebs out of my head.  It had been a year since I photographed any sports, not including surfing.  And frankly I was surprised how quickly I fell back on the saddle.  I spent a lot of time watching Dave Smart the coach whose animated coaching style made basketball games during my four years at Carleton that much more entertaining.

OTTAWA, Ont (19/1/13) - Carleton Raven's head coach Dave Smart reacts to a play by guard Carleton Gavin Resch during a game in Ottawa, Ontario on January 19.  Despite Smart's dramatic reaction to his teams defensive plays Carleton defeated the Queen's University Golden Gaels 104 - 63. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

OTTAWA, Ont (19/1/13) – Carleton Raven’s head coach Dave Smart reacts to a play by guard Carleton Gavin Resch during a game in Ottawa, Ontario on January 19. Despite Smart’s dramatic reaction to his teams defensive plays Carleton defeated the Queen’s University Golden Gaels 104 – 63. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

That brings me all the way to the week following my last blog post, when Idle No More was still headed off at full steam.  There had been a day of action the previous week with thousands of people in the streets and a historic meeting between Indigenous peoples, the Crown and the State.  That was followed up with the promise of a day of action and that the next Wednesday blockades would happen all across Canada.

There is a Mohawk reserve, Tyendinaga, near Belleville, it’s where I get my gas (avg $1.20/L) and it is also the location of a CP/CN rail line intersection.  I found the whole situation immensely interesting.  As photographers and journalists we spent the day trying to figure out where and when this would happen.  When we found out where the blockade was we had to walk through back woods trails to get to the intersection.  A few falls, bruises and cold, wet feet later we found the blockade, although they were absolutely not happy that we were on their land taking pictures.

This is where I found the situation more interesting, technically the rail lines are federal property, but they run through a reserve.  In this case the rail line carries Via passengers from Toronto to Montreal and is a pretty important one, but I understand why the police mostly stood back and watched.  As it was the protestors hung around for a few hours and made their point, which was that they have the power to do this, then left and things continued on.

TYENDINAGA, Ont. (1/16/13) - A Mohawk from Tyendinaga Ontario crosses a Canadian National Rail track, above him the Mohawk warrior flag and the flag of the Iroquois Confederacy fly over a Canadian Pacific track, both tracks were blockaded for several hours on January 16 by Idle No More Protestors as part of a day of action.  This reserve in Eastern Ontario is one of the few places in Canada where both CN and CP rail lines intersect it impacted freight transit and delayed Via Rail passenger Trains on the Toronto-Montreal corridor for several hours. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

TYENDINAGA, Ont. (1/16/13) – A Mohawk from Tyendinaga Ontario crosses a Canadian National Rail track, above him the Mohawk warrior flag and the flag of the Iroquois Confederacy fly over a Canadian Pacific track, both tracks were blockaded for several hours on January 16 by Idle No More Protestors as part of a day of action. This reserve in Eastern Ontario is one of the few places in Canada where both CN and CP rail lines intersect it impacted freight transit and delayed Via Rail passenger Trains on the Toronto-Montreal corridor for several hours. (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

As I mentioned March will be a busy month and April will be a lot of wrpping up.  For my part though it was nice to have a few days at least to check out mentally and play Civ, but I think those days are past time to get back to work.

Adam

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