Independent Photography

First week in


It’s been just over a week since my job officially began here at the Toronto Community News.   It’s been a fun and challenging week, with a steep but manageable learning curve.

I should start by saying Toronto is the biggest city I have ever lived and worked in.  I grew up In Guelph and Milton, so I’ve visited Toronto often and the cultural impact of the city on southwestern Ontario is huge.   Living in the shadow of the city is different than living in the city itself.

However, once I find myself on assignment there’s no much that makes working in Toronto different than working in other towns.  I should point out through my beat is mostly community news.  The company that owns Toronto Community News, Metroland Media Group is a subsidiary of Torstar media.  Torstar’s flagship publication is the Toronto Star.  So while I’m in Toronto most of the events I shoot are at the community level, or typically the things that the Star wouldn’t catch.

So I approach each assignment with an old acting adage ringing in my ears, “There are no small parts assignments only small actors photojournalists.”  In my first week I covered multicultural festivals, cricket events, a midget level baseball game, a regional track meet, the tall ship festival, Guyanese independence day, one of the Toronto Jazz Festival events and community fundraisers to name a few.

Most of the papers publish on Thursday’s some like the North York and Scarborough Mirror’s publish on both Tuesday and Thursday. I had Tuesday and Wednesday off this week so when I came in this morning I got to see my pictures in print.  This isn’t the first time, but it’s the first time in a while and it is still exciting to see your pictures in print.

With this introduction aside here are some pictures running loose in reverse chronological order.

On Sunday I only had four assignments, however, they were mostly outside and Toronto was under an extreme heat and humidity advisory for the day.  I averaged drinking a litre of water per hour just to keep hydrated.  Considering the athletes at the baseball game and track meet I photographed though I don’t think I can complain.

David Zhang, of the Scarborough Stingers throws a pitch during a game against the East York Bulldogs during a game on Sunday.  The Bulldogs defeated the Stingers 7 - 1. (June 23, 2013)

David Zhang, of the Scarborough Stingers throws a pitch during a game against the East York Bulldogs during a game on Sunday. The Bulldogs defeated the Stingers 7 – 1. (June 23, 2013)

It was my first time shooting baseball at any level.  I really liked it.  I like the sport anyways and it’s great for pictures.  Hopefully I will shoot more baseball games this summer and get better.

John West of the Scarborough Stingers slides into second base during a game against the East York Bulldogs on Sunday. The Bulldogs defeated the Stingers 7 - 1. (June 23, 2013)

John West of the Scarborough Stingers slides into second base during a game against the East York Bulldogs on Sunday. The Bulldogs defeated the Stingers 7 – 1. (June 23, 2013)

After the baseball game I rushed out to Centennial College’s progress ave. campus for the Toronto Guyanese community’s celebration of their independence day.  Guyana was celebrating their 47th year of independence and their President happened to be in Toronto visiting that weekend so he came by to visit the celebrations.

President Donald Ramotar of Guyana, shares a laugh as he poses for pictures with dancers from the Multi-Culture and Folk Arts Association of Canada during the 47th Guyanese independence day on Sunday.  The Chinese are one of the 11 major ethnicities that migrated to Guyana and helped found the current country. (June 23, 2013)

President Donald Ramotar of Guyana, shares a laugh as he poses for pictures with dancers from the Multi-Culture and Folk Arts Association of Canada during the 47th Guyanese independence day on Sunday. The Chinese are one of the 11 major ethnicities that migrated to Guyana and helped found the current country. (June 23, 2013)

My Sunday though had started out at York University in the morning.  There was a regional high school track meet hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion.  In the 40+ degree heat, running a 100m or 1600m race is not my idea of fun.  Photographing it was good though.

I also got my first cover photo with Metroland there, the photo below ran on the front page of the Tuesday edition of the North York Mirror, hopefully there’ll be more of these in the following weeks.

Runners line up on their blocks to await the start of the youth boys 100m at the Royal Canadian Legion District D Track and Field event.  Despite high that and humidity athletes pushed themselves in the Sunday competition. (June 23, 2013)

Runners line up on their blocks to await the start of the youth boys 100m at the Royal Canadian Legion District D Track and Field event. Despite high that and humidity athletes pushed themselves in the Sunday competition. (June 23, 2013)

This photo was me trying different things, while I have no issue getting the ‘standard’ images required.  After that it’s fun to play around and try new things and new ways of telling the story.

Runners pass by a hurdle beside the track during the youth boys 100m race at the Royal Canadian Legion District D track and field competition on Sunday. (June 23, 2013)

Runners pass by a hurdle beside the track during the youth boys 100m race at the Royal Canadian Legion District D track and field competition on Sunday. (June 23, 2013)

My Sunday was capped off with a nice walk around the Fairbank Village area of Toronto near Eglinton and Dufferin streets.  There was a multicultural festival on the street that day.  While actual cultural activities seemed to be lacking there were food and buskers.

Sophie Ouckama, 10 receives a balloon flower on Sunday at the Fairbank Village Multicultural Summerfest. (June 23, 2013)

Sophie Ouckama, 10 receives a balloon flower on Sunday at the Fairbank Village Multicultural Summerfest. (June 23, 2013)

The day before had me running all over town for six different assignments.  Once again most of them were outside except on this day instead of extreme heat it was periods of thunderstorms.

This photo was from a block party neighborhood event; the rain kept most people home or seeking shelter under things.

A family takes refuge from the rain under a store sign during the Neighbours' Night Out event on Overlea Boulevardd on Saturday.  (June 22, 2013)

A family takes refuge from the rain under a store sign during the Neighbours’ Night Out event on Overlea Boulevardd on Saturday. (June 22, 2013)

I was also able to catch part of the Toronto Jazz Festival, at one of the satellite shows at the Shops at Don Mills.  There was a performance by the Toronto based Dixie Demons, it was pretty fun, despite the small crowds and rain.

Dan Douglas of the Dixie Demons plays the trombone during a performance on Saturday at the Shops at Don Mills as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival. (June 22, 2013)

Dan Douglas of the Dixie Demons plays the trombone during a performance on Saturday at the Shops at Don Mills as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival. (June 22, 2013)

On the Friday before I was asked to go and shoot the Redpath Waterfront festival, a four-day festival along Toronto’s waterfront featuring a fleet of tall ships.  They also had events and performances; one of these events was a Flyboarding demonstration.  Which was one of the coolest things ever.

Daniel Kaufman, right, demonstrates flyboarding at the Redpath Waterfront Festival at the Toronto harbour front on Friday.  Water pressure is used to hover above the water, the pressure is generated by pumping water from the Sea-doo driven by  Patrick Vallières, through a hose and out of the bottom of the Flyboard. (June 21, 2013)

Daniel Kaufman, right, demonstrates flyboarding at the Redpath Waterfront Festival at the Toronto harbour front on Friday. Water pressure is used to hover above the water, the pressure is generated by pumping water from the Sea-doo driven by Patrick Vallières, through a hose and out of the bottom of the Flyboard. (June 21, 2013)

Personally though I was interested in the ships.  About ten years ago I sailed aboard a ship called the STV Fair Jeanne, which sails out of Ottawa.  I distinctly remember being on watch at 4am in the middle of a rainstorm in June, under sail into Toronto harbour as the sun slowly started to rise behind us.  The event lets people who may be interested tour the ships and get a feel for them before they all move onto the next stop and the Fair Jeanne was there this year too.

Jesse Moniz, 19, left, and Giuseppina Fazio, 19, share a moment in front of the Liana 's Ransom during the Redpath Waterfront Festival along the harbour front  on Friday .  Eleven tall ships docked in Toronto for the four day festival. (June 21, 2013)

Jesse Moniz, 19, left, and Giuseppina Fazio, 19, share a moment in front of the Liana ‘s Ransom during the Redpath Waterfront Festival along the harbour front
on Friday . Eleven tall ships docked in Toronto for the four day festival. (June 21, 2013)

Last Thursday was one of my first officially assigned assignments at a small community park in York.  The Jays Care Foundation, or the charitable wing of Toronto Blue Jays, had just refurbished a local ball-park, they had some community leaders and two former Jays on hand for the event.

Baron Catena, 10 months old, held by his dad Shawn touches the face of former Blue Jay and hall of famer Roberto Alomar.  Alomar was one of the many people who spoke at the opening of the newly refurbished Smythe Park baseball diamond. (June 20, 2013)

Baron Catena, 10 months old, held by his dad Shawn touches the face of former Blue Jay and hall of famer Roberto Alomar. Alomar was one of the many people who spoke at the opening of the newly refurbished Smythe Park baseball diamond. (June 20, 2013)

They also had some of their trainers on hand to offer up a skills clinic to local kids.

Kids from the Blue Jays Baseball academy take part in some skills drills after the unveiling of the newly refurbished Smythe Park baseball diamond.  The drills also included kids from the rookie leagues which is a summer program for kids living n under resourced areas across Canada. (June 20, 2013)

Kids from the Blue Jays Baseball academy take part in some skills drills after the unveiling of the newly refurbished Smythe Park baseball diamond. The drills also included kids from the rookie leagues which is a summer program for kids living n under resourced areas across Canada. (June 20, 2013)

When there’s down time and during the first day or two I was asked on occasion to go look for enterprising or feature pictures.  These are standalone photos of daily life in the city.  Sometimes they can have a newsy focus though it’s not needed.  An example would be weather pics on a hot or rainy day.

Miru Park, 16, (left) watches as Chris Foley, 38, grinds and edge at Woodbine Park Skate Park.  (June 20, 2013)

Miru Park, 16, (left) watches as Chris Foley, 38, grinds and edge at Woodbine Park Skate Park. (June 20, 2013)

Feature hunting as it’s called is just walking around taking pictures and talking to people, not a bad way to spend a few hours on a working day.

It’s been a diverse week and while the past week was mostly settling in I think the next few will go well.  I look forward to shooting more and posting more, and if you’re in the Toronto area check out the Metroland Mirrors you might see my pics.

Cheers,

Adam Dietrich

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