One of the manny unwritten rules you learn early on as a photojournalist is to be prepared but to expect the unexpected. Guess I’m still learning. I was just finishing my edit from the Canucks Hockey team’s loss in the Stanley Cup final and was packing up my camera equipment and laptop when word started to spread of a riot. At first I dismissed the idea believing the rioters were just a small handful and the police would have them under control quickly. Looking back now I guess I was as naive as manny others in Vancouver in my belief that a riot wouldn’t happen.
As I entered one of the waiting roomsof Port-au-Prince’s only maternity hospital, Isaie Jeanty, I looked over at a line of pregnant women, all of whom were in labour. I was amazed how the group sat, quietly, calmly holding their intake papers, waiting for a bed. Many looked disconnected from what was occurring around them. Some 50 babies were born every day at the hospital at what was being called the “baby factory.”
When taking photos of any natural disaster, there are always two spots: the place where you can get and the place where you want to get. I arrived in Goderich on Aug. 22 after a tornado hit the small town two days earlier, and police had already closed the street with yellow tape. I saw the destroyed property on the other side of the church and I knew that the photo I needed was from inside that house. After going through the backyards of several houses and the roof of another I got to the second floor of the house where I wanted to be. I got the image and I never crossed the yellow tape
A patient is admitted to the mental hospital run by Abdurrahman Ali, known by the nickname Dr. Habeb, in Mogadishu on Sept. 8.
One of the issues seldom discussed in Somalia, let alone any war-torn country, is the impact that conflict, famine, and disease has on the mental health of the population. While in Mogadishu in September we worked on a story about the treatment of the mentally ill in Mogadishu by doctors who care, but have very little resources available to them. During our visit to one facility a man, obviously very agitated, was being admitted, and I was able to photograph the process. This image was made purposefully with a slow shutter speed to better give a sense of the level of agitation the man was experiencing.
Kevin Van Paassen
Drawing over a million people each July the Caribbean Carnival culminates in a ‘grand parade’ that starts at the CNE grounds and winds along the shores of Lake Ontario.
While lugging heavy gear up and down the parade route all day in temperatures approaching 40 degrees can be exhausting covering the event can also be a lot of fun. It’s hard not to get swept up in the festivities when surrounded by throngs of ecstatic revellers dressed in ornate and elaborate costumes as the sounds of a steelpan band plays nearby.
With so much going on visually i realized it would be easy to snap away at all the the obvious pictures and overlook the more subtle images. I decided i’d try to capture a few quieter moments among the chaos, the crowds and the colorful blur of the costumes.
This image of a young masquerader was taken along the parade route as she took a short break from dancing to make some minor adjustments to her outfit. Using a telephoto lens I was able to eliminate extraneous or distracting elements and focus on her downward gaze. The bold colour and texture of her feathered head dress also help to frame up her face quite nicely.
Ty Cahoon, 16, rides his horse as he throws his lasso while practicing behind the Equine Academy in Cardston, Alta., on Oct. 19. Equine Academy is not only a pruning ground for up and coming rodeo professions, but also a therapeutic centre for children with developmental disabilities.
As a photojournalist I find I often daydream about different elements coming together for the perfect picture. For me the daydream becomes as close to reality as you can get.
“Walk a Mile in her Shoes”, is an annual campaign where men walk one mile wearing high heels to raise awareness about violence against women, the RCMP participated and a couple of officers walked along the crowd wearing the painful shoes.
The most challenging part of this particular assignment was to get the right angle with the shoes being an important part of the final composition.
Zebras grace late in the day inside the Kenyan National Preserve in Nairobi on Sept. 10.
The majority of travel I have done has been to areas of the world where grief and suffering are prominent. I have not taken advantage of my time in foreign places to enjoy some of the beauty often overlooked while working on other stories. My colleague, Geoffrey York, The Globe and Mail’s Africa bureau chief, was determined to not let this be the case after we completed our work in Somalia, so he pretty much insisted that I take some time to enjoy a mini-safari with him before flying home. While it’s very strange to take in a day like we had after experiencing a week in such a sad place as Mogadishu, I was very happy that Geoffrey took the time to arrange this outing. It was an opportunity to decompress somewhat before heading home, and it was a thrill to see some of the beauty that Africa has to offer. This image was taken late in the day as our driver rushed to get us out of the preserve before the gates were locked for the day.
In a tent outside the Isaie Jeanty, Port-au-Prince’s only maternity hospital, on Jan. 10, 2011 which, at the time, was the only cholera treatment centre set up for pregnant patients were orphans whose mothers died of cholera.
Kept isolated from the other babies he looked so pale, small and alone, I was drawn to him. Fed by staff through a tube because he was too weak to eat on his own, his future was unclear. I felt sad that he may not have had a family to go home to, if he recovered at all.
Timber Whitehouse, area chief of the Fraser River stock assessment, stands in the Adams River on Oct. 26 looking for dead sockeye salmon to estimate the size of the run. He is also looking for evidence of pre-spawn mortalities, which sometimes kills up to 50 per cent of a stock before the fish have spawned.
Using a $16 fish tank and three bags of kitty litter I was able to show the reader one view of two completely different worlds, dramatically increasing the picture’s visual interest. The fish tank keeps the camera dry, but the kitty litter has a twofold purpose: to give weight to the tank, which would otherwise float downstream, and to secure the camera in place.
A group of Mennonite boys, aged 15 to 18, leave a homemade rink on a farm owned by Noah Martin in Wallenstein, Ont., on Jan. 8. This image was one of the last images I shot while doing a story about hockey played in its classic style. It is also one of my favourite images from last year.
I was able to find a game being played by some Mennonite young men in Waterloo Region, and despite some strict rules that they live by, I was able to photograph them enough to produce a centre spread for a Monday Folio. As a hockey fan myself, it was great to watch these young men play the game purely for fun, and in a pure sporting style.
Kevin Van Paassen
Last September, after nearly a year of footwork to secure our journalist visas, Globe reporter Sonia Verma and I traveled to Havana to work on several stories focusing on the recent economic reforms happening there.
For the first time since the 1959 revolution Cuban president Raul Castro has loosened certain government restrictions involving such things as car ownership, small business and agriculture.
Due to chronic food shortages under the state-controlled agriculture industry the Castro government has decided to offer free 10-year leases on idle parcels of countryside to Cubans willing to farm the land.
Sonia and I were fortunate to meet a local farmer named Armando Aroche who was producing crops of sweet potatoes and tomatoes on his plot of land located less than an hour outside Havana.
The dusty rural landscape and warm light offered great photographic possibilities and Mr. Aroche warmly welcomed me into his home when I sheepishly asked if I could stay the night so I could continue to photograph the next morning.
Since Mr. Aroche and his family spoke only a few words of English and I spoke even less Spanish we spent most of that evening communicating using only a crude form of charades over beer and roast chicken.
The next morning we left the house at 5:30 a.m. to meet the rest of the men in the fields. There was a slight mist hanging over the fields and the light was muted and subdued. This particular frame was taken in the few moments before the sun came over the horizon as one of the hired men paused while harvesting sweet potatoes.