Category: Photos

One of my favorite narcissistic activities to do every few days is check the stats on my Flickr page. Generally, you get some pretty obvious results; a few hits from google, a lot from flickr, and maybe a few from a flickr aggregating service. But a few days ago I saw a random one I hadn’t heard of before, so I had to investigate. The site appeared on my list of referrers as When you click on that, it brings you to a page with more specific info, saying that the page was about Kevin Nash.

I have no idea who Kevin Nash is, but I play through the lists of musicians, athletes, and random people I’ve photographed. Couldn’t think of anyone named Kevin Nash. So imagine my surprise when it brings me to this page:

Kevin Nash is a wrestler with the WWE. I have definitely never photographed any WWE (that would be cool though). I scroll down though and see the image section. Ahah:

At least one of these photos is not of Kevin Nash

At least one of these photos is not of Kevin Nash



There’s my friend Kevin. The photo was taken at the national conference for the Canadian University Press, affectionately referred to as Nash.

Lesson learned: if you’re going to automatically aggregate images, make sure to check if they actually fit the theme, and build in ways to exclude the ones that don’t.

Since it’s funny, what are some of the random sources that have linked to your content online?


Today is my birthday.For some reason, I woke up at 6am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I got up and after checking the news and all my RSS Feeds, I decided I might as well go for an early morning walk, cause that’s what I’ve always imagined people who wake up at 6am do.


So I went down to the dykes and walked around and took some pictures. It was nice, very relaxing. The weather has been awful lately, but today has been beautiful, so that didn’t hurt.


Someone left these shoes sitting on the…boardwalk? pier? I’m not really sure what to call that thing. But there were shoes, red ballerina shoes (To me they look like ballerina shoes at least). Very random.

So anyways, I figured it would be a good idea to take a self portrait today, since it is my birthday, no better time I figure. So I took this:

22-Day One

Didn’t really come out how I had envisioned it, but I still like it. Different. And I cross processed it in Photoshop to give it a different feel.

But on to the point, I’ve always kind of wanted to take part in the 365 Days project over on flickr, but have never really gotten around to starting. So, as of today I am. In a nutshell: Every day for a year you take a self portrait and upload it to the group. Why? why not. Actually, I have a few good reasons. First, I’ve always thought it would be fun to do something like this, but lacking any coherent starting point, it’s always been easy to just put it off. Second, I find I haven’t been taking many photos simply for the sake of taking photos anymore. This will help me change that, since I’ll have to take at least one photo a day. Third, I’m getting my Strobist flash system soon, and a book on lighting technique, so I’ll have a lot of inspiration and the technical ability to pull different things off. It’ll be a fun experiment. I won’t post them all on here, cause that would just be annoying, but I will be uploading every day to the set on flickr. Technically I won’t be uploading one every day, for example, I’m going to Mexico at the end of the month and won’t be bringing a computer, so I’ll upload all the pics from those days at one time after I get back (I think I’m only bringing the film camera for that too, so that should be fun).

I hope I can pull it off.

Well we got more snow. It has now snowed 3 times in April, which is definitely 3 times too many.

With the newspaper done, I haven’t really been taking a lot of photos. All year I’ve just been taking the photos I need to take, so the process of just coming up with ideas on my own for photos has been eroded a bit. So, I guess I have to get back into the habit. But because of the snow and general awfulness of outside, I didn’t want to go far. So I just took a few from my porch.

I experimented with a new technique to convert these to black and white which I learned from Journal of A Photographer, which is an excellent blog by a guy in Vienna who used to work for Magnum (talk about an awesome job). It gives them a bit of a different look, so I don’t know if I’d use it for everything, but it doesn’t hurt to know a new technique.

In other news it is my birthday in 2 days. For my present, my girlfriend went halfsies on an off camera lighting set up recommended by Strobist. If you haven’t seen that site before it’s definitely worth checking out. I can’t wait till it arrives.

This is not your average blog post; it’s actually my submission of my term project assignment for my Politics of the Mass Media course. I chose to submit it this way because we are, after all, talking about the mass media, and therefore it only makes sense to submit my project using the mass media; in this case, my blog. For those of you who aren’t Dr. Pyrcz, this was the assignment:

Shoot a portfolio of 7-10 photos and submit these as a portfolio, with a 1000 word commentary regarding the role, nature, and standards of photojournalism, and defending your portfolio in this light.

The video that I’ve attached is the portfolio of images, each with captions as well as spoken annotation about the choices I made for including/taking each photo. I promise I don’t sound like that in real life. The introductory video is the time lapse video I shot during the event, which you can see in full here. Underneath the video you’ll find my 1000-ish word commentary, complete with hyperlinks to most of the references. Enjoy, particularly if you are Dr.Pyrcz.

The video quality is not perfect, you can click here for the full version over at Google video





Photographers have the unique ability to show people what is happening in a way that no other medium can. A single moment, frozen in time, can express what words and video never could (e.g. this photo[1] of a young Vietnamese girl screaming after being hit by napalm). Armed with this power, it is the role of the photojournalist to inform the public, and in so doing, invoke action from them. As James Nachtwey[2], renowned photojournalist for the VII photo agency[3], expressed at a recent speech[4];

“Photographers go to the extreme edges of human experience to show people what’s going on. Sometimes they put their lives on the line because they believe your opinions and your influence matter. They aim their pictures at your best instincts; generosity, a sense of right and wrong, the ability and the willingness to identify with others, the refusal to accept the unacceptable.”

From this perspective, photojournalists act on the behalf of the audience to deliver them with a true account of what is going on, and what can be done to change it. Photojournalism is not, however, audience centric. It does not give the audience what they want to see, but rather what they need to see. This perspective sees the photojournalist as having an inherent socially responsibility; a photo of something that is prescribes how it should be.

Not every event though requires the photojournalist to prescribe change, but every photograph can inform the viewer about the unique experience of a particular place and time. For example, covering a sporting event[5] does not require a photojournalist to make efforts to inspire action from the audience, but they can still capture the unique emotions experienced during the game.

While this role of photojournalists to inform and inspire action from citizens has remained constant since photography was first used for news purposes, the nature in which photographs are shown to their audience is changing dramatically. Traditionally bound to appearance in newspapers or magazines, photography is now more and more viewed online. Furthermore, online photojournalism has transformed from the single shot of an event coverage typical of newspapers, to multimedia presentations involving photographs, sound, and occasionally video (for examples, see The New York Times[6], The Washington Post[7], and Magnum in Motion[8]). This shift from single frames on grainy newsprint to in depth multimedia coverage has numerous implications for the field of photojournalism.

In 1964, Marshall McLuhan proposed that media could be either hot or cool[9], with this distinction influencing both the form and content of the media. Hot media speaks to its audience, without much room for interpretation or debate. On the other hand, cool media speaks with the audience, allowing individual interpretation an analysis. Traditionally, photojournalism appearing in newsprint has been cool; the image quality is sub par, forcing the viewer to fill in the gaps of what the photo is depicting. Furthermore, because newspapers traditionally only run one photo along with most stories, the rest of the event must be inferred by the audience from that one photo (as well as the accompanying story).

This has changed with the development of online multimedia photojournalism. Because photographs are displayed on crystal clear, backlit monitors instead of newsprint, the audience is no longer required to make any inferences about the physical content of photographs. In addition, because multiple photographs of a single event or story are now used instead of a single photo, the audience is afforded a more complete view of any event; at the cost of the ability for individual interpretation based on a photograph. In this way, photojournalism is shifting from a cool medium to a hot one, a transformation which could radically transform the scope of photojournalism. If McLuhan is right that “the medium is the message”[10], then a shift in photojournalistic medium will alter the message of photojournalism as well.

In light of these changes to photojournalistic practice and distribution, the need for strong journalistic standards is more important than ever. At a time when digital cameras have eliminated film cameras from most of the professional world, and digital technologies are rapidly replacing traditional practices, ethical standards are imperative in order to maintain the privileged position journalism holds in democratic society. This is of particular importance because photographs taken with digital cameras, or processed digitally, are “[susceptible] to easy, unlimited, and virtually undetectable manipulation.”[11]

Using Adobe Photoshop, or any number of other photo editing software, photographers can easily erase parts of images, input data from other photos, adjust the tonal range or colour of an image, as well as a multitude of other adjustments. While this ability has opened up a range of creative potentials for the artistic photographer, it poses a serious risk to the credibility of the news photojournalist whose photos are only effective if they tell the truth. It is with this danger in mind that photo agencies, organizations, and individual newspapers have devoted considerable effort to updating and enforcing their ethical codes. Reuters, for example, published a list of acceptable uses of Photoshop earlier this year,[12] which clearly states that there are to be “no additions or deletions to the subject matter of the original image.”[13] The decision on the part of Reuters to publish this type of document is likely influenced by the fact that a Reuters photograph taken over the summer was exposed as being heavily manipulated, resulting in the firing of several Reuters staff.[14] Other groups, however, are also publishing updated ethical codes, including the National Press Photographers Association[15], and the Toronto Star[16].

Ultimately, however, it falls to each individual photojournalist to develop and uphold their own sense of ethically acceptable behaviour. The guidelines offer a starting point for each individual to decide what they are and are not willing to do to in order to fulfill their role as a photojournalist. Personally, I refrain from all digital editing outside basic levels adjustments and black and white conversion when working on news photographs. Furthermore, when taking photographs I strive to remain unobtrusive, observing and documenting the action but not interfering with it. This includes never requesting for people to change their actions so I can ‘get the shot’ or using photos were people have intentionally posed for the camera. The photos from Relay for Life illustrate these standards.

In keeping with the new practice of online multimedia presentations seen throughout the news media, I decided to submit my portfolio of images from Relay for Life in this manner. This style of photojournalistic presentation lends itself well to this project; I needed to submit multiple images together, and the multimedia format allowed me to incorporate both video and audio content in addition to the photographs.

While my primary role as a photojournalist at this event was an informative one, there is a prescriptive element to these photos as well. By showing the efforts of regular university students to raise money for cancer research, these photos call on others to do the same. These photos, to paraphrase Nachtwey, are aimed at your generosity[17], they call on you, the viewer to help in the same way these students have.



[1] Ut, Nick. Associated Press. (accessed April 6, 2007).

[2] Nachtwey, James. “Witness: Photography by James Nachtwey.” (accessed April 6, 2007).

[3] VII Photo Agency. (accessed April 06, 2007)

[4] Cohen, June. “2007 TED Prize winner James Nachtwey.” TED Blog: Ideas that matter in technology, entertainment, and design. April 04, 2007. (accessed April 06, 2007).

[5] Dineen, Gary. “New Orleans/Okahoma City Hornets v Milwaukee Bucks.” Getty Images. April 03, 2007. (accessed April 06, 2007).

[6] Fremson, Ruth. “Amazing Girls.” The New York Times. 04 01, 2007. (accessed April 07, 2007).

[7] Steinmetz, George. “Exploring Antartica.” The Washington Post. 2007. (accessed April 07, 2007).

[8] Pellegrin, Paolo. “Guantanamo.” Magnum in Motion. (accessed April 07, 2007).

[9] McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge, 1964.

[10] McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge, 1964, p.7

[11] Wheeler, Tom. Phototruth or Photofiction? : Ethics and Media Imagery in the Digital Age. Mahwah, NJ, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., 2002, p.28

[12] Schlesinger, David. “The Use of Photoshop.” Reuters. January 18, 2007. (accessed April 07, 2007).

[13] Schlesinger, David. “The Use of Photoshop.” Reuters. January 18, 2007. (accessed April 07, 2007).

[14] “Reuters drops Beirut photographer.” BBC News. August 8, 2006. (accessed April 07, 2007).

[15] “NPPA Code of Ethics.” National Press Photographers Association. (accessed April 07, 2007).

[16] “Toronto Star Photo Department Code of Ethics.” Toronto Star. January 12, 2006. (accessed April 07, 2007).

[17] Cohen, June. “2007 TED Prize winner James Nachtwey.” TED Blog: Ideas that matter in technology, entertainment, and design. April 04, 2007. (accessed April 06, 2007).


Tip off

AUS Championships were last weekend, this weekend was the CIS Men’s Final 8 Basketball Championship. 9 games in 3 days. We missed 1 (the first one cause I had class till after it started). In the end, Carleton won for their fifth year in a row.

Carleton won

It was a lot of fun to photograph, more so even than last week’s AUS championships. There was a lot of other press there, Chronicle Herald and the Daily News, a guy from CP, other student papers, and probably several others. Unfortunately, the biggest upset of the tournament was the game we missed, in which SMU beat Concordia. Concordia won their second game though, and then came back to win the third place game.


Acadia was not as fortunate as SMU though…We lost. badly. The second worst margin in CIS history. 48 points. Ouch. And we lost our second game against UBC too.


So we basically came in last. Oh well, the team that beat us was Carleton, and they went on to win it. If you have to lose, at least lose to the best team.

Under the net

We (Lucas, Nick, and I) were reporting on the tournament for CUP, the Canadian University Press. Since we are the only paper in the Halifax area that’s a member, we had to take photos and write stories for all the papers. So by next week I should be published in several papers across the country. Pretty cool.

The Jumper

After each game, I took the best photos and uploaded them to the CUP wire, meaning that each game had a “keeper” pile of about 10 shots. After 9 games, thats almost 100 solid photo. So for inclusion in the blog I had to go through each of those and pick the best to narrow down to a new 10. I probably didn’t get the absolute best of the best, but I think this is a pretty good selection.


I started off shooting at 800 ISO, but by switching to 1600 I was able to get a lot better shutter speed, the people actually aren’t blurry! Awesome. And the grain isn’t to bad cause it really bright.  Most annoying part is trying to get the focus right, I got better at it as time went on, but at first, I was getting over half of the shots out of focus. Oh, and I also learned to really lay on the shutter and let the 3 frames a second do its thing (though I felt insignificant next to the guys with the 10 fps cameras). Most of the best shots I got were the middle of 3 frames: the first they are going up, the second they are looking amazing, and the third they are looking back up at the net to see if they scored. Good system.

Another layup

I might have needed to crop that one…but i try to avoid cropping as much as possible. And I really have no idea what happened in this one, but I think it looks cool:


And that’s it. Good weekend, lots of driving, lots of fast food, lots of photos (1500 is the final count for the weekend). In closing, cheerleaders.



Yep, our mens team won the AUS Championship title in Halifax tonight. I’m not a huge basketball fan, but this was a damn good game. With 1.4 seconds left in regulation, with Acadia up one point, SMU got two free throws. He sank the first one, and missed the second. Tie game, going to overtime. Steve Baur; assistant coach’s reaction to the situation:


This was the second game I went to during the championships, I went to one on Thursday, and had been planning on posting a cool slideshow thing I made, but I am not very good at web stuff, so I couldn’t figure out how to host the file. Oh well, I’ll try again later. But my experience taking photos at the Metro Centre in Halifax (where the games were) has me convinced that we need a stadium like that at Acadia. The lighting is incredible. It makes shooting the game fun, not frustrating.


We had a bit of a slump at the beginning of the second half, and for awhile there it looked like we were going to lose, but they got back in stride to catch back up.


So yeah, game ended, we won, crowd went wild, team went wild, it was pretty fun.  The crowd stormed the court, but then security pushed them back to the sidelines, the seemed really pissed off that they were going outside their designated area. So I took this kinda funny picture of the old security guard, obviously not interested in whats going on around him, patrolling the area:


Hehe. Ok thats all. One more of the crowd for good measure. I enjoy taking shots of the crowd, probably as much a I enjoy taking pictures of the actual game.


Patterson Schmaterson

Patterson 1

I took a few photos of the new Patterson Hall for the newspaper the other day. It should be a pretty nice building once its finished, even though I have absolutely no reason to ever go inside it (it’s a biology building).

patterson 3

I’m experimenting with the automatic copyright watermark in Adobe Lightroom. I like that I can just add it automatically, without going into Photoshop, but at the same time, it’s kinda ugly. I wish there was some way to choose what it would look like. I’ll have to send them a letter. On the topic of Lightroom, I’ve just downloaded the real version (after participating in the beta), and it has gotten so much better. I think it’s going to be a really useful tool for organizing and editing photos, not having to worry about taking each into Photoshop and messing around in there.

patterson 2

Not much to say about the settings for these photos, the first two were with the 18-55 kit lens, f/8, 100 ISO. The last one was with the 75-300 @ 75mm. It was nice to take a few photos outside again, I realized I hadn’t done that in awhile…

Finally, as a comparison, this is the “building” in September. Just a hole in the ground.

old patterson

East Coast Music Awards = Awesome

Alright, so I’m back from the excitement of the ECMAs. The simple version: Only the biggest of the big photographers (CP, Reuters, etc.) were given any real access to take pictures during the event (though the hadn’t really figured this one out until after the show started), so I was stuck in the media room taking pictures of the winners with their awards. Not ideal, but still pretty cool. The long version…

Jess, Rob Mousseau, and I left Wolfville around noon to head up to Hali. We dropped Jess off in Bedford with her friend Gail, and then the two of us headed into the city. We got to the Metro Centre and eventually found our way to the staff/security door where the media room was located. The girl gave us our media passes and then gave us some bad news: we didn’t have access to the actual Awards Show. Shit. We knew we were suppose to have access, but this girl didn’t look like she had any authority to make these types of decisions so we were at a loss. We headed out and by extreme fortune came across the head of communications for the event (he saw us with our media passes on and said hello). We told him of the situation and he was like “oh that’s bullshit, you guys can have access to the show.” Phew. We went back to the media room with him and we got the all important, and highly secure, gold star on our passes which apparently means “let these people in.” Heart attack averted, we headed to the Casino for the SOCAN Songwriters Circle.

SC All

The Songwriters Circle is where a bunch of good musicians hang out in the middle of the room and play acoustic guitar (or piano in one case) while the rest of us watch in awed silence. It was pretty cool. I hadn’t heard of any of the musicians before, with the exception of Amelia Curran, who I think played at On the Verge last semester. They just went around in a circle playing songs and telling stories. First up was Bruce Guthro.

SC Bruce

Followed by Amelia Curran, who was really good.

SC Amelia

And then there was Mark Bragg, who was kinda crazy…

SC Mark

And Sarah Slean, who was also very good.

SC Sarah

And finally Stephanie Hardy.

SC Stephanie

Photographically, I’d say it went pretty well. The lights were set up quite well so that when each person was playing, they were the only thing in the room that was lit. In some cases (mainly on Amelia), the shadows were pretty bad, making it a bit difficult to get a good shot, but all in all it was well set up for photos, which was very nice. There was space near the stage where people could sift around, making it easy to change locations and get to the position you wanted. I shot mainly with the 50mm, but a few (again, the shot of Amelia) with the 18-55 (that one was at 35mm). And the lighting was good enough that I didn’t even have to use 1600 ISO, woohoo.

SC Audience

So, with that show over, we headed back to the Metro Centre. First, we stopped by Extreme Pita for some food. Very important. Back at the Metro Centre, the Media Room was getting packed, and I was faced with some serious lens envy from the photographers from the important papers/wire services. I know Reuters and CP were there, as well as the guy from the Chronicle Herald, and a bunch of other photographers. There were a few other “kids” who obviously had no idea what they were doing or why they were there (aka me). While we were sitting there, the ECMA publicist asked me for my email so she could send me the “Embargo List,” which is the list of all the winners, with the explicit discalimer that sending it to anyone before the show is over will result in extreme discomfort. With the show about to begin, the communications guy from before brought all us still photographers into a little pit beside the CBC camera area and told us we could shoot from there. Just do not, do NOT, go even one foot in front of the booth (or you might end up on tv, and then you would be thrown out). So there was a whole pile of us shooting from there for the beginning of the non-broadcasted part of the show (the Aliant guy was the host!).

ECMA Aliant guy

A few awards were presented, Joel Plaskett won for best DVD, In-Flight Safety won something, and so did Jill Barber. There were also a bunch of awards given to people I had never heard of before, and who presumably were given awards off broadcast because no one was really interested in their category (best classical recording?).

ECMA Jill Barber

I also got to stick around on the floor for the first performance. This was Hey Rosetta, they were pretty good, and the lights were awesome.

ECMA Performance

After that though, things stopped going so well. Metro Centre security came and told all the photographers that we had to leave. They felt we were taking up too much space, and were getting in the way. So we went into the back where the communications guy came out and they all talked and it was decided that the 4 big guys (CP, Reuters, etc.) would be able to get up there, and the rest of us were screwed. They offered us seats in the upper bowl to enjoy the show from, but I didn’t feel like sitting super far away and not be able to get anything but blurry shots the whole time. So i went back to the media room and hung out there.

ECMA Measha Bruggergosman

After every award was given, the winner was brought back into the room for a mini press conference and photos. It was cool to see the behind the scenes world of something we see on TV all the time (awards shows).

ECMA Joel and Media

Because it was set up specifically for photographs and TV cameras, the little stage in the media room was extremely well lit, which made the whole thing really easy. I was using my 70-300mm lens for the whole time of the awards show (even the earlier stuff), though always the 70mm side. Normally that lens doesnt work at all inside, so it was nice to be able to use it a bit for something other than sports.

ECMA Emergency

I tried again to get onto the floor before the broadcast started, but alas, the Metro Centre lady told me I couldn’t stand there. Arg. I saw the Trailer Park Boys inside their car as it was getting ready to be driven out for the opening, but other than that I didn’t see them at all, which I thought was kinda funny (I was at the event and I didn’t even see the hosts in person). So it was back to the press room for me, where I sat out the broadcast part of the show, watching it on TV and taking pictures of the people as they came in. Not quite as exciting as I had hoped for, but it was still fun.

ECMA George

And then the show ended and it was time to head to the after-party, which was not nearly as exciting as it sounds. It was basically a reception with lots of expensive food, expensive drinks, and live music. But there were musicians there. Rob talked to Chris Murphy from Sloan while i took some pictures of The Divorcees, the first band to play at the party.

ECMA Afterparty

After that we essentially went home, picking up Jess from Bedford on our way. And that was that, the ECMAs.


vag mon5

Ok so I’m a terrible blog-person. I was sick last weekend which gave me a decided lack of ability to take pictures. But I’m all better now and back at it. Wednesday was the Vagina Monologues, put on by the Women’s Centre at Acadia. They had asked me to come in and be their “official photographer”, which was pretty cool. I got a free shirt. I’m probably the only guy at Acadia with a VDAY shirt. The V is pink. Awesome.

vag mon3

All in all it was a good show I would say. It lost a bit of something not being performed in the ATF this year, but ultimately the show isn’t about production value.

vag mon2

Photographically, the show went quite well, and I just saw the organizer a few minutes ago and she said the photos were amazing (success). The lighting in the Mackeen room was predictably awful. Giant spotlights at the top of the stage that only work on specific spots on stage. Fortunately, when people were in those spots, there was enough light to take a decent photo, I didn’t even have to jack it up past 800 ISO.

vag mon7

I shot the first half with the 50mm f/1.8 lens, and then switched to the 18-55mm for the second half to get some wide angle shots, mix it up a bit.

The thing I like about the Vagina Monologues is that it has a pretty good mix of serious and funny perspectives. Some of it is really sad, but other parts are hysterical (like Sarah’s “My Vagina is Angry” back at the top of the post). It’s tough because when you get to the intense emotional parts, everything is so quiet, and yet I’m still want to be taking pictures. Those are the best parts to photograph, cause they are when you can capture some real emotion. But at the same time, I don’t want to pull the audience away from the piece with that “THWAK” noise the camera likes to make. Of course, while I think about this, I generally disregard the feeling and keep taking pictures anyways.

vag mon4

Cristopher Morris inspired. Ok I think that is all I have to say. I’m going to the ECMA’s on Sunday. That’s going to be amazing. There will be a big post for that on Monday.

vag mon6

No sleep


I just finished the longest production night ever. We finished at 7:15 am. I have to go to my math lab at 10 so I’m not going to bed.

Since the ASU Election was last night, we had a bunch of extra stuff to do which took a looong time. Anyways, no real purpose to this, just a random posting.

The photo is me ten minutes ago, tired and watching Heroes. 18mm – f/3.5 @ 1/125- 800 ISO