There’s always one that gets away. Regretfully, that is if you are lucky. As a photojournalist looking to make the most of every assignment, there are often several fleeting moments that escape capture, or for whatever reason end up on the cutting room floor.
After poring over past Goldstream News Gazette photo assignments from 2015, I’ve gathered a sampling of moments I enjoyed shooting, but were not published in the Gazette.
Photo 1 (above): Standing behind firefighters approaching a fire during training, I got a first-person view of how quickly a fire can escalate from being seemingly innocuous to engulfing an entire cubicle. In this case, it may be the experience of taking of the photograph I find most memorable, watching the flames grow from the size of a candle light to eating the entire structure alive. I can still feel the radiating heat, warning me to stay away every time I look at this photo.
Photo 2 (below, from top down): It almost looks as if Mark Matthews is riding his bike on an invisible floor and I’ve shot him looking down from the ceiling. I think it might be this strange sense of displacement that makes this photograph interesting to me. That, and the fact I once took a shot from a similar vantage point only to have the biker lose control and land on my head, knocking me and my camera to the concrete. Oh, the memories.
Photo 3: I am always impressed when I meet talented young individuals who can do things most adults can’t. Gymnasts Emily Schmidt (background) and Sarah Keating are strong examples of that. There is certainly nothing happening in this photo that I could ever duplicate, and that is a combination I almost always find enjoyable to shoot.
Photo 4: Working on the West Shore these past few years, I have grown to appreciate the women’s national rugby sevens team and now follow them in a way I never imagined I would before seeing them play live. During the inaugural Canada Women’s Sevens tournament at Langford’s Westhills Stadium in April, I shot Team Canada’s Karen Paquin driving England’s Alice Richardson to the turf as the latter released the ball. Shooting Team Canada, now one of my favourite teams, as they worked towards earning a ticket to the Rio Olympics was inspiring.
Photo 5: It is rare that National Hockey League teams compete on the Island, and perhaps even rarer when veterans compete hard in exhibition games. Jannik Hansen is a workhorse for the Vancouver Canucks and this photograph of the gritty forward entangled in sticks and skates as he falls to and ice illustrates how entertaining the game was to shoot and just as entertaining to watch.
Photo 6: It isn’t often one gets the opportunity to participate in a traditional drum awakening ceremony and this particular celebration was one I was grateful to witness. In the midst of the ceremony, I snapped this photograph of Shoreline middle school student Lassah Johnson and others, as First Nations elders made their way past them, blessing the drums the students clutched to their hearts. For a brief moment, Johnson glanced over, allowing me to capture her expression, the students’ hands and the elders’ candles as they performed the memorable ceremony.