Michael Ignatieff

Maclean’s Magazine has been keeping me busy lately. If you have seen this week’s issue you will have seen the cover photo of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff that I shot a week-or-so ago. It was a bit of a production when compared to how I usually shoot. I was given a general theme by the director of photography – “Epic”.

I had been going back and fourth about how I was going to shoot it – studio lights or location lights – and finally decided to go big. I used two 500 w/s heads with gridded strip lights and set up a 6-foot black seamless backdrop in his office. I had to use a hacksaw the night before to cut a few feet off of my backdrop in order to get it into the elevator. I wanted the light to define his features, separate him from the background – but not light the background – and give me a big catch light in his eye. The concept for the pose came to me the night before the shoot – I usually don’t photograph people turned away from me, but I am happy with the result. You can tell that posing isn’t one of my strong suits when I get excited about a simple body rotation. Thanks to Chris Pike for helping me lug all the gear up to Parliament Hill!

Cheers, Blair
blairgable .com

Valberg v. Nature

Ottawa photographer Michelle Valberg hired me to document the gala opening of her photo exhibit at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa last night. The works spans many years and many trips to Canada’s arctic. The guess list was quite impressive with more than 600 people in attendance, including the Prime Minister of Canada’s wife Laureen Harper, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, Ottawa mayor Jim Watson (and councillors), etc. Arctic Kaleidoscope is on display now!

Michelle gets a kiss form her father.

Cheers, Blair

Flight of the Senators

The Ottawa Senators played the Philadelphia Flyers at home a few nights ago. Here are my favorite images form the game. Phillips looks for a contract extension, Condra scores his first NHL goal and Butler saves Anderson’s ass.

Ottawa Senators’ Chris Phillips skates to the bench during the first period of their NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Ottawa February 26, 2011. REUTERS/Blair Gable (CANADA)

Ottawa Senators’ Erik Condra (C) celebrates his goal with teammates Brian Lee (L), Chris Phillips and Colin Greening (R) during the second period of their NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Ottawa February 26, 2011. The goal was Condra’s first goal in the NHL. REUTERS/Blair Gable (CANADA)

Ottawa Senators’ Bobby Butler pulls the puck out from behind goalie Craig Anderson to prevent a Philadelphia Flyers’ goal during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Ottawa February 26, 2011. REUTERS/Blair Gable (CANADA)

Let’s see how they do tonight with a team of newbies and youngsters against the Boston Bruins, who are on a hot streak!

Cheers, Blair
blairgable .com

You Got Served

Mohamed Harkat was the first (I think) Canadian arrested with a security certificate. Basically it means you are thought to be a threat to the country and the government can keep you arrested (or under house arrest in Harkat’s case) and not show you the evidence they have against you or tell you much about the charges. They just want to cleanly jail you or deport you. Harkat’s lawyers and wife Sophie have spent an amazing amount of energy keeping this case in front of the media to try and gain public support. Harkat has been served his deportation papers, but his lawyers are appealing and he will remain in the country for a few more years while it works its way up to the Supreme Court.

I liked this first image of MH with his lawyer Matthew Webber heading to get his deportation papers but the colour was whack and only works in black and white. I like the rim light, I like the steam form his breath and I like the special sauce (lens flare) coming in from the top.

After the press conference, MH was hugged by a supporter before heading to the car.


Cheers, Blair
blairgable .com

Harper’s Half-Decade

Stephen Harper and his minority conservative government celebrated five years as Canada’s ruling party with a party with huge Canadian flags at the Hampton Inn in Ottawa. I had to fight with PMO staff to be able to shoot from the position for the first image and it ran in all the major papers in Canada today. Why go through all of the trouble to put up a massive flag if you are not going to let the media make the straight-on shot? The rest of the time I was dodging video camera guys at a cut away position.

This image didn’t get any play, but I like how the three fates are hovering in the crowd behind Harper. They’re gonna get’cha! Plus I like the special sauce spilling in from the top-right of the frame.

How wants an election? I do!


Cheers,  Blair
blairgable .com

Morning Calm – Afternoon Sugar Rush

Between Christmas and New Year’s I had been working on a biggish project for Morning Calm magazine, Korea Air’s in flight magazine. They feature street food form around the world and were focussing on Ottawa’s Beaver Tails.

I worked my ass off for this piece and spent a lot of time at the BT hut in the Byward Market and running around town trying to make pretty pictures of the city. It definitely took a few days to get the deep-fried dough smell out of my jacket after spending about 4 hours in the hut with the girls work one day. I was supposed to make pretty pictures from around the city as well, but I don’t think it snowed once between the time I received the assignment and my deadline. A part of the canal was suppose to open for one day, but it ended up raining. Ah well. Thanks to all the people that dragged their children downtown and filled them with sugar! I will post some of the unused work here as well.


Cheers, Blair
blairgable .com

By the Numbers

Things have been quiet since the new year was rung in. Assignments are few and far between with no political action in sight and on top if it all, I broke my big right toe causing me to have to turn down a bunch of work. I am also trying to finish up all of my year-end responsibilities by the end of the month, so I have been running my numbers.

Last year I shot approximately 244 assignments:

130 for Reuters
40 for newspapers (for the three national papers)
35 for magazines (for eight different publications)
18 commercial / private jobs
21 weddings

Once I get back to the business of shooting pictures I will post more images here. I promise!

Cheers, Blair

Heads-Up Hockey

I have been shooting a lot of Ottawa Senators hockey lately. Here are a few of my recent favs!


Buffalo Sabres’ goalie Ryan Miller stops Ottawa Senators’ Alex Kovalev’s shot on net in a shoot-out during their NHL hockey game in Ottawa December 4, 2010.     REUTERS/Blair Gable     (CANADA)

Ottawa Senators’ captain Daniel Alfredsson reaches for the puck with Buffalo Sabres’ Derek Roy during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Ottawa December 4, 2010.     REUTERS/Blair Gable     (CANADA)

San Jose Sharks’ Dany Heatley (C) looks for the puck with Ottawa Senators’ Filip Kuba (L), Chris Phillips and goalie Pascal Leclaire during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Ottawa December 2, 2010.     REUTERS/Blair Gable     (CANADA)

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Phil Kessel is hit in the mouth by the stick of Ottawa Senators’ Sergei Gonchar during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Ottawa November 27, 2010. REUTERS/Blair Gable (CANADA)


Cheers, Blair
blairgable .com