1. Last week, I was in Fort McMurray, Alberta for photographing the Alberta Oil Sands for Bloomberg. It was an excellent experience to witness the Oil Sands first hand. The people of Fort McMurray take pride in their energy industry very much in the same way any Atlantic city takes pride in their Fishing industry. 

     
  2. It has been an eclectic few week to say the least. A lot of variety in the daily assignments, which I totally welcome.

     
  3. Last week, I headed to Kamloops, B.C to cover the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier for Reuters. This is the Canadian men’s curling championships which is held every year around the country. It’s a long tournament, with 8 days of curling. 

    Photographing curling is harder than one would think. It comes down to subtle story telling in your pictures, this could be a skip wiping his brow after missing a shot, or a thumbs up from a curler who made a shot. It comes down to very small details that end up telling the story.

    Here are a few shots of jubilations and dejections from the week.

     
  4. Yesterday, I was sent to Seattle, WA to cover the Seahawks 1st Superbowl celebration parade for Reuters. I was teamed with ace Seattle-based Reuters photojournalist Jason Redmond

    The day was long, with planning and getting into our media positions around 7am. This felt especially long since I was in a ‘lift’ that was raised above the crowd at 4th and Pine above the 700,000 fans for nearly 2 hours. The parade was delayed and it didn’t get to my position until 12:45-1pm.

    I knew it was going to be cold, not nearly as cold as some assignments I have covered outside, but when you are standing around with a tonne of heavy glass in one tight spot the breeze can get to you.

    It was a great assignment and a wonderful day for the city of Seattle.

    Here are a few galleries with some more photos from the event -

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/photo/beast-mob-more-700k-celebrate-seattle-sb-win-n23231

    http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTX189MO

    http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/photo-gallery/2014/2/photos-seattle-celebratestheseahawksasuperbowlxviiiwin.html

     
  5. Over the last week, there has been a lot of hockey to cover. I got the chance to shoot some WHL for Getty and it was a refreshing break from shooting the NHL. I find younger players, and non-professional leagues in general have just as many moments, if not more than their big league brothers.

     
  6. On Saturday, I was assigned to cover North Shore Rescue leader Tim Jones’ funeral procession. While I knew there would be quite the turn out for the long time respected North Vancouver leader, I didn’t expect thousands of people lined the streets.

    Although media wasn’t allowed in the funeral itself, I didn’t care as I knew the photographs would be mostly outside. Here are a few of the procession as it made its way down Lonsdale Ave, in North Vancouver.

     
  7. At the start of the new year, Surrey experienced their first homicide of 2014. Nothing could have been more tragic than what happened with Julie Paskall while she was waiting to pick up one of her kids from a Newton community hockey rink. A centre that is their for people to feel safe, secure and part of the community. Julie was fatally beaten with no motive or suspect in sight.

    These assignments are tough, but some of the most important to cover. A large group of the community came out last Saturday to hold a candle light vigil and pay their respects to the Paskall family.

     
  8. "In an effort to curb ‘bird strikes’ – collisions between aircraft and birds that prove fatal for the animals and dangerous for planes – Vancouver International Airport has enlisted the help of three raptors."

    Earlier this week I found myself at YVR airport photographing a team of two women who patrol the airport with three Raptors for the Globe & Mail. 

    Being a bird lover to begin with, this was a wonderful way to spend a sunny afternoon. 

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/birds-of-prey-on-the-runway-at-yvr/article16449458/

     
  9. On the topic of Olympics, I thought I would share a recent project I shot for the Globe & Mail for the upcoming Sochi games.

    I pitched an idea to John Lehmann, The Globe’s west coast photojournalist, and we both agreed to try it out at the Canada Olympic Media Day. This is a time where almost all of the Canadian Olympic hopefuls are introduced to the media in one day. Different agencies, outlets, publications and newspapers all have separate hotel rooms which they use as studios and the athletes are each slotted with around 15 minutes of time in each room. This is where all the interviews, pictures and quotes are from when you see all the pre-hype to the Olympics on T.V or in the newspaper. 

    Anyways, we decided that we would shoot the athletes on a polaroid camera and have them sign the the bottom of the polaroid image with a message to Canadians. While the polaroid was developing, John would take a portrait of the athlete on a digital camera and sports writer Dave Ebner would interview them. 

    This was a different approach and produced an interesting collection of images. Other photographers from different publications produced some beautiful work as well, including Jimmy Jeong for the Canadian Press which can be seen here.

    The final product turned out great and the Globe used the Polaroids as a two-page ‘Folio’ and on A1. 

     
  10. A few months ago, Globe & Mail sports writer Dave Ebner and I went up to the Whistler/Blackcomb glacier with Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot. Read the story that went to print today HERE. 

     
  11. An update of some recent singles from a few assignments. 

     
  12. A group of blind and visually impaired youth made a visit to a local horse stable in Vancouver on January 15, 2014. They had the opportunity to touch, brush, smell and hear the horses in a hands-on sensory tour of the Cavalia stable. (Photos by Ben Nelms)

     
  13. In September I pitched a day long picture story to the Globe & Mail on a relatively unknown sport in Canada. Kabaddi is a South-Asian sport that is played on a large circular field and resembles a very physical form of tag. Their was a large competition being held in Abbotsford, which has a high Indian population, so I knew it would be well attended. 

    One of the highlights of the day (and perhaps the year) was that I was Awarded a ‘Trophy of Honour’ for wanting to photograph the sport and stay all day. I guess the organizers saw my dedication to sticking around all day and felt they needed to promote my ‘honour’! I’ll take it

     
  14. A small picture story I shot for the Globe & Mail on beekeeping in the Fraser Valley. 

     
  15. Just go shoot. 

    The Pigeon Park market is 2 blocks away from my apartment and every Sunday I often find myself walking down and loitering around Carrall street for a few hours or two. This is a people watching playground, my overwhelming curiosity pulls me in and the high tide of characters keeps me under.