Epic Fail

The Ottawa Senators (17-25) lost to the L.A. Kings (21-21) tonight… uhh… Unfortunately it happened on Cory Clouston’s first night as head coach. Two bad teams + one bad game + one bad goal =  zero playoff chances for the Sens. This is shot across the ice with a 300 mm and a 1.4 teleconverter on my Mk3. Cropped, big time.

“I told you guys to score goals!”

Ottawa Senators’ new head coach Cory Clouston (C) stands behind Jason Spezza (L) and Chris Neil during the second period of their NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings’ in Ottawa February 3, 2009. REUTERS/Blair Gable (CANADA)


Supremely Cold

I spent a couple of days earlier this month shooting the Supreme Court of Canada for a Maclean’s Magazine feature (issue Feb. 2). It is a tough building to shoot interestingly. I went back a couple of times to shoot in a few different lights and had permission to shoot in the grand hall for a day.

It is a big, square building.

Those are my footprints. I dug a trench to lay in to enhance the perspective of the building. Never leave home without your snowpants.

The building has few exterior details, but two statues out front.

That small, silhouetted person in between the smoke stack and building is my dad.

This was one of the first interior shots I took. It made me laugh.

A little editorializing.

I had to shoot these robes encased in glass, but the big-ass windows behind me made things difficult.

This was the only person that I saw the whole time I was there.

This building is across the street and reflects most of the building. As Andy Clark says, always remember to look behind you!



Last week I had a busy day that had me working for three different clients. It started with a job for the Toronto Star on Osteoporosis, then to the Globe and Mail and a story about tipping and finished with an Ottawa Senators game for Reuters. Not a bad group of clients.

Christine Thomas walks her daughter Chanel, 7, from her car to school in Ottawa. Christine has a serious form of osteoporosis.     Photo by Blair Gable for The Toronto Star

Andrea Senyk waits tables at Kinki Restaurant in the Byward Market in Ottawa.     Photo by Blair Gable for The Globe and Mail

Ottawa Senators’ Montreal Canadiens’ during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Ottawa. The Canadiens beat the Senators 5-4 in a shoot out.     REUTERS/Blair Gable       (CANADA)

There was a bit of confusion with the first assignment. I thought I was going to walk with the mom and her daughter to grade school and make some nice pics, so I geared up with all my snowboarding clothing for a chilly walk. They ended up driving, so I jumped in the car with the pair and snapped pics as they walked from the car to the school. Driving afforded far less opportunities for pictures, but I got much better stuff than I did in their condo. The second assignment was about tipping in a upscale sushi restaurant. Now, the Globe wanted pictures of tip money left on the table, but we are talking about some big bills here. Everyone tipped on their credit card receipt. I hung out for about two hours photographing the waitress at work and waiting for people to eat and leave so I could see what they left in gratuities. I think this was the nicest frame from the assignment, it was very natural and had nice light, but it did not make the paper. The third job was a good ol’ hockey game. They Senators are doing very poorly and good pictures have been tough to get of late. It was a tight game and they scored a late goal. A great face, nice framing and a bit of luck made this picture work for me, but there was no point in filing it since they ended up losing in overtime or a shootout or something.


Ox of a Year

So it is the Year of the Ox according to the Chinese calendar so the Toronto Star sent me to Upper Canada Village to photograph Barney the Ox. Did you know that an Ox is just a Bull that has been castrated? It is. I thought it was a whole new animal, but I was wrong. I jumped the fence and stood on a frozen pile of poop to get this cows best side. All in a days work.


Winchester Sauce

Ottawa Senators’ Jesse Winchester (L) is hit into the boards by Washington Capitals’ Karl Alzner during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Ottawa January 20, 2009. REUTERS/Blair Gable (CANADA)

For whatever reason this photo got a lot of play today. Not only in Canadian newspapers (Globe and Mail, National Post, Calgary Herald, etc.) but the Washington Post and the Jakarta Post (Indonesia). This young player is always good to take a big hit or for a good jubo when he scores. Here are a couple more of Mr. Winchestershire.


A Trudeau for the Next Gen.

I have had this stuff in the bag for a little while now, I have just been waiting for Maclean’s Magazine to publish the images before blogging about them. A good number of images have been published with a nice story by Aaron Wherry in this weeks issue of MM. Here are some images that I liked that did not make the mag.

I have sent a good bit of time with new Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau, both in Ottawa (at his office and chasing him through the rotunda on Parliament Hill) and in his Papineau riding in Montreal. In all of our interactions he has been extremely courteous and generous with his time. He is very media savvy, almost to a fault. You could be lining up a shot that is a bit different, or from a different angle and he will reposition himself to be more open to the camera. In some cases this is great (as it can save the photographer from having to reposition himself), other times it can ruin an interesting composition. Whether he does this consciously or not has yet to be determined. He is very good at ignoring the camera and focussing on what he is doing, whether working in his office or out meeting with people, which is great when you are trying to document the daily life of one of Canada’s youngest MP’s and one of the Liberal’s rising stars.



Golden Goose

A little overhead remote action from the 2009 World Junior Championship gold medal game between Canada and Sweden. Canada claimed their fifth championship and will go for their sixth in Saskatchewan in 2010.


Swede It Is

Sweden laid the smack down on Russia the other day. Let’s see what they do during their game today. I am shooting the Sweden-Slovakia and Canada-Russia semi-final games today. More hockey coming soon!


If you are not a hockey fan I apologize for all the hockey pictures lately, but it is all I have been shooting. With the World Junior (Hockey) Championship in Ottawa this year I am shooting a game or two or practice everyday. Thankfully bossman-Wattie is giving me New Year’s day off to recover (from the hectic shooting schedule!), I think.

Team Canada took on Team Czech Republic on the first day of the tournament (Dec. 26) and beat them very handily. There were many opportunities to shoot Jubo’s (short for jubilation) during the game. Sometimes a tight shot of a player screaming works and some times you need a weird looking fan to make the picture work. Here are four examples.



Star Struck

Last night the Stars came to town to take on the struggling Ottawa Senators and I ended up struggling to stay awake. The Sens have ditched their black jersey’s and goalie Alex Auld and are back in red with Gerber in nets. It was goal-for-goal last night. The Sens would score, then the Stars… it ended in a 5-4 victory for the Senators with Jason Smith scoring a beauty goal in overtime. You can only feel good for a guy with a handle-bar moustache.

Mike Fisher was also rocked by Dallas tough-guy Steve Ott. You don’t see a collision t like this too often.

This was my last Ottawa Senators game for 2008, but I am not done with hockey yet. I will be covering the World Junior Hockey Championships at Scotiabank Place and the Civic Centre  for Reuters starting with a practice on Christmas day.