2010 has been a busy year for me, including a number of firsts:
1. Explored my first abandoned building (many more followed)
2. Climbed a construction crane despite being deathly afraid of heights (I've done a few of them)
3. Photographed a wedding (five of them in my first year!)
4. Visited Detroit
5. Met a lot of my favorite photographers (see Squirrel Brand, Tomms, Jen Tse to name a few), who I now call my friends. I have a great respect for these people and their humbleness.
It's been a great year. I've really pushed myself past my comfort level and given in to peer pressure, all for the love of this fine hobby. Here are my favorite five shots from this past year. I hope you've enjoyed the ride so far...2011 is going to be bananas...
5. THE WORLD IS FLAT
This shot is significant because it represents my first attempt at rooftopping/craning an active structure. Without getting into details that might get me in trouble, this is a fairly high profile condo development just outside of Toronto. I am taking a picture of the smaller building from the taller one, at about 54 stories or so. The fisheye lens creates the illusion that the horizon is spherical -- round like the earth.
Note: I only made it 3/4 of the way up the crane, as the winds were completely insane that night.
4. MY FRIEND, DOUG
I had the opportunity to work on an incredible film called Hello October this year. The movie was written by one of my best friends, Seneca Aaron, and directed by another good friend and "mentor-to-all", Doug Dales. Doug was well respected in film circles, having supported a number of people in their careers. Sadly, Doug fell ill during the filming of this movie, and passed away not long after.
As a Still Photographer on set, it was my job to capture images of the cast and crew. This photo, taken from Doug's last day on set, serves as one of the most important (and haunting) portrait shots I've ever taken.
I live across the street from an old abandoned malting plant, designed to store malt in the 1920's. The Canada Malting Plant now one of the premiere locations for urban explorers in Toronto. It had been calling my name out for more than two years, taunting me every time I left my condo. I finally made it into this building (several times in fact) this past year. Though parts of the structure are currently being demolished, most of it will remain in tact and re-purposed into something yet to be determined. This unique shot of the Toronto skyline is taken with a fisheye lens through the window at the highest point in the building.
2. THIS IS THE SHOT
Even before I started exploring abandoned buildings, I always had an appreciation for the "decay porn" that came out of these places. One of the most gorgeous buildings is the Tiffany designed Farwell Building in Detroit. This is my version of a quasi-iconic urban decay shot taken by a number of different photographers.
Note: the print of this is absolutely stunning!
1. POWER TO THE PEACEFUL
In my opinion, there were conflicting views of what transpired at the G20 Summit in Toronto this past June. Those who saw the events unfold on TV thought the city was in the midst of a full blown riot. Those who were on the frontlines as protesters, photographers, journalists, or passersby saw firsthand crowds getting shot at with rubber bullets, get trampled by horses, gassed, or detained/arrested without provocation.
This picture of a riot officer holding a flower symbolized truce, a peace offering -- none of which the mainstream media caught on to. This is easily one of the most poignant shots I've ever taken to date.