Monday, July 26, 2010

Cirque du Soleil - Les Chemins Invisibles

I had the amazing opportunity to take some images of the Cirque du Soleil last weekend during their outdoor show in the streets of Quebec City. The venue for the show is not your typical yellow and blue Cirque big top, it is actually held outdoors under the Dufferin-Montmorency overpass (highway 440).

The show is called Les Chemins Invisibles (The invisibles paths) and brings together over 50 artists – dancers, jugglers, singers, acrobats and contortionists.

The show was launched in summer 2009 to celebrate the Cirque du Soleil’s 25th anniversary. The first chapter was based on a fictitious story of three tribes known as Brumes, Brasiers and Sables (fog, fire and sand), living in Quebec’s Saint-Roch district who sought to form a single community with the current inhabitants of the area known as Les Embarassants (The Embarrassments).

This year, the second chapter titled Furrow of Dreams continues upon the new community theme. The show begins with the leaders of the three tribes making their way back to the stage through the crowd, some carried in, some riding mechanical birds and others flying in over the crowd. The show goes on in typical Cirque du Soleil fashion with some daring aerial acts, incredible costumes and amazing choreography all the while backed with great music and lyrics.

The troupe receiving funding from the city to put on the show for 5 consecutive looks like there are 3 more chapters to come! It started on June 24th and runs until September 1st. I think I’ll be making time each year to go and follow the rest of their story.

Here are some images from the show. I have about 60 of them uploaded on my FLICKR account if you want to see more.

Needless to say, if you have never seen a Cirque du Soleil show, make the time. This was my fifth or sixth show, and I’m definitely not done.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Maternity shoot

I dedicated 2010 to trying to grown and practice more portrait photography. I was excited when my friend Jennifer asked me to do some natural style maternity shots. I met Jennifer a few years ago while taking a photography course and got a chance to meet her husband Stefano during the shoot. They were well prepared for the shoot as they were nicely coordinated in black shirts and jeans. Solid colours are key when doing portraits, specially classy portraits where you want viewers to focus on the models and not the lines and shapes in their clothes.
I went their place earlier this week and we ended up having about 50 mins of shooting time. These were taken mostly in their living room where they had a nice big window that was shining some nice light, which is a must when trying to go for natural, "zen" style shots.

What did I learn? While I like to allow people to pose themselves with only slight direction from me (keeps things natural and organic), I still need to pay more attention to the small details. Plan some, but not too much. I had looked through some maternity shots online to get my creative mind going. The morning of the shoot I just scribbled 6-7 ideas down on a piece of paper, but once you get started, you just move from one thing to another based on the location, the light and the inspiration that hits you (or the models) at the time.

So here are my fave shots...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

G20 900 arrest protest

The Toronto police made the biggest mass arrest in Canadian history, arresting 900 people, some innocent some not, during the G8/G20 summits in Toronto.

Protests were organized across the country June 30th and July 1st, and I made my way down to the Montreal noon time protest. Andrea came with me and met some friends there and they all marched while I ran around taking images.

There were approx 1400 people at the protest which was mainly peaceful and non eventful, other than a small scuffle at the start between some of the protesters as one guy tried to push his own cause, which was totally irrelevant to the reason the people were gathered.

The walk went from Square St-Louis (Sherbrooke metro area), down Sherbrooke street, up St-Laurent, down Mont-Royal and back up St-Denis to end at Laurier metro. Those are some pretty busy downtown streets in Montreal.

The cops were present, some at the front of the march, some along the sides and some in the back. The riot ready cops were all on side streets out of view of the crowd so as not to get them too pumped.

Here are a few images from the march, click on my FLICKR to see about 40 of them.