Archive for the ‘snap’ Category


snap: do you see the signs (of panhandlers)? Andres Serrano does

February 12, 2014

My regular haunts of Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, New York have panhandlers. Sometimes I toss some cash into their cup or hand (though I prefer my regular donations to the United Way). Mostly I say hello or smile. Often, I wonder about their stories. But I don’t usually even make eye contact. Photographer Andres Serrano took notice of what appeared to him as an increasing number of homeless in New York.

As a native New Yorker, it surprised me because I had never seen so many people begging and sleeping on the streets. It occurred to me to start buying the signs that the homeless use to ask for money.”

He writes about the project here, in the Guardian. Very interesting. For this month’s edition of the “snap” photo feature, here’s a video he made of the project. It goes by pretty quickly, but you could always pause, right?

Here is a piece from CBC (you’ll have to click on the “Listen” button for the discussion), in which Terry O’Reilly talks to Serrano about criticism of the project as exploitation.

And from the comments on the piece here, I found another guy who began doing the same thing back in 1993.


snap 2: John Mahoney gets aurora bored-ealis (and creates a spooky fun photo)

January 21, 2014

It was supposed to be the first northern lights over Montreal since 1978. Conditions were supposed to be perfect for the aurora borealis to provide a light display in the sky. At the Gazette, we couldn’t let this pass without photos at the least and, in a perfect world, video. I’m the night guy this week so…

So begins the recent post on The Gazette’s photo blog, The Lens. John Mahoney is a Gazette photographer who wrote about how a boring, failed assignment turned into a bit of fun and a spooky cool image. Click here to read how he got this photo above…

All rights reserved by creator, John Mahoney:  Night exposures while waiting for the aurora borealis in Vaudreuil, west of Montreal Thursday January 9, 2014.   (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)

All rights reserved by creator, John Mahoney: Night exposures while waiting for the aurora borealis in Vaudreuil, west of Montreal Thursday January 9, 2014. (John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)


snap 1: Andy Clark – Please sir, we want some more

January 21, 2014

B.C.-based Andy Clark is one of those old-school wire photographers who support the view of wire photographers as gruff, a little scary, and very, very good. But like a lot of wire photographers – also news photographers in general, judging by the many I’ve known – he might be a little prickly on the outside, but he’s all cream puff inside.

As proof, I submit this lovely, lovely photo essay from November 2013, called The Last Theatre in Town, from Powell River.

I’ll let you read the blog post, which explains how he “wandered around” to capture the life of that rare thing, the small-town picture house.

And as you’re reading that, send some vibes, some clicks to, an Instagram follow to @andyclarkfoto and a general wish that Andy, who recently retired from Reuters, but not photography, will find many ways to keep creating and sharing his lovely photos.


snap: UFOs, Reuters’ Mike Blake and a little night magic

March 11, 2013

Mike Blake, a California-based photographer for Reuters, spent a recent night in the desert near Sedona, Arizona, on a UFO tour, with UFO author and expert Kim Carlsberg. Mike, like all good journalists, draws from a deep well of doubt, in this case about … photo opportunities.

“Quite frankly, after dusk dropped into the blackness of night I was pretty sure my picture taking would be over.”

Fortunately for us, he became a believer. Click this link and enjoy his charming blog post and beautiful photos.


snap: how I spent my summer vacation, Gaspesie edition

August 11, 2012

La Passerelle aux saumons is a bridge over the river that skirts the Camping de la Riviere, the homebase from which I spent a week hiking in the Chic Choc mountains in the Gaspesie, about 10 hours northeast of Montreal.

La Passerelle aux saumons, or down below where we ended each day, is not where I spent my entire vacation. That photo album (excruciatingly tasteful excerpts of which are on my @dduguay page on Instagram and you can ooh and aah here), that how-I-spent-my-vacation photo album would, I suspect, bore the hiking socks right off you. I have lots of flower photos, and gaffer tape on the ankle photos (ward off those blisters!), hikers cooling their near-blistered stinkin’ hot dogs in the creek that magically presents itself at the end of every hike photos … I have all those photos and most of them I am content to leave on my iPhone.

But this photo is the vacation in a nutshell. There’s an empty chair somewhere in there between my friend and hiking mentor, Pierre Obendrauf, on the left, and his fiance, Tania Friedrich, on the right. They not only hauled me with them on this trip and indefatiguably aided my goal to speak as much French as possible (the rest of the group was 99 per cent francophone and I am pleased to say I Frenched my way through about 75 per cent of the week). Not only all that, but they fed me, kept me in beer and wine, fussed over my tent and tarp and looked away  in that moment, at the fancy dinner we had at the fancy Gite Mont Albert on the last day, when it struck me this was the first vacation I had taken since Shaun’s passing that was not solely dedicated to getting away by myself so I could think about Shaun. Ah.

So that’s how I spent my vacation, in the seat between two great, generous, fun friends, soaking our feet and drinking river-cooled beer, and (mostly) getting way far out of my own head and into the splendor of nature. May you find such a seat as often as you can.

Aw, maudlin, I know, but you’re the one who dropped by.

Now get out there, the summer’s not over yet.


snap: two brilliant photographers in one blog post – Barbara Davidson and Richard Koci Hernandez in conversation

July 11, 2012

Barb Davidson is an award-winning and stunning Canadian photographer who works at the Los Angeles Times. Richard Koci Hernandez is a photographer who worked at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years and now teaches at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. He is a brilliant iPhone photographer I began following @koci on Instagram at the suggestion of @timbophoto (fellow Winnipegger Tim Krochak who shoots for the Halifax Chronicle Herald). His black and white images, paired with quotations, are always amazing: visually stunning and thought-provoking. Barb’s one of the most curious people I know, following her as I do on Twitter (@photospice), Facebook and now the LAT photojournalism blog Framework. In a post there dated July 4, she interviewed Koci. Read one of the best and most inspiring conversations right now; there’s also a few great images to see. Click here to read the blog post, which includes Koci answering Barb’s questions about why he likes the iPhone so much, the role of technology in journalism and photojournalism and whether photo apps and photojournalism are mortal enemies (they’re not).

Double amazing. Double inspiring. Thanks to Barb and Koci for this and I hope you enjoy it.



snap: Holi, the festival of colours from Kevin Frayer

May 11, 2012

Sure, it’s greening, but it’s been a bit dull here in Montreal and just last night I was following the social chatter about what Johnny Cash Jr. would have called a prairie thunder boomer rolling across Winnipeg last night. However, I found a splash of colour courtesy of our exquisitely talented friend Kevin Frayer, Associated Press chief photographer for South Asia, based in Delhi. The photo, which was tweeted by an Italian fan right here …

… was taken at the Baldev Temple in Dauji, India in March during Holi, a spring festival celebrated by Hindus which appears to be to colour what the Tomatina is to tomatoes in Spain. Click here to view photos by Kevin and others of that festival, which shows Hindus throwing, smearing and splashing water and coloured powders to make a big joyous coloured mess out of everyone and everything. Also, you could click here for a different photo gallery from the same festival.

Bring on spring.


snap: “Why do you want pictures of these gnarled old things?”

April 11, 2012

I think it was my good friend the music philosopher Chuck D, or @MrChuckD as he’s known to his friends, who wrote on Twitter a year or so ago something to this effect:

“Hey you kids. Those phones are not just for texting and downloading Public Enemy songs. They’re recording devices and your story begins with the oldest person in your family. Now go.”

I’m elaborating of course. He did it in 140 characters. And I don’t as a rule do whatever Chuck says. But I did think of him on my recent trip home to Winnipeg, visiting as I did with friends and relatives, including the eldest of my late husband’s family.

These are the hands of Viola Best, age 93, Shaun’s grandmother. I asked to take the photos of her hands (originally posted on Instagram) because I thought she’d be too self-conscious to let me photograph her face, perfect though it is. In the end, the hands say more. Rings for love, spots for the ages of a well-lived life, barely visible nicks and dings from years of cleaning and cooking, hands that I’ve held with the quick joy of her tart, bald humour and with the pain of Shaun’s passing last summer.

"Why do you want to take pictures of these gnarled old things?" Photo by Denise Duguay, all rights reserved.

"Are you going to put these photos in the paper? If you do and somebody asks me I'm going to say it was your crazy idea." Photo by Denise Duguay, all rights reserved.

Denise Duguay


clip: the mystical lives of cameras and the short film Leave Me

March 11, 2012

Cameras are mystical objects. Also electronic and mechanical and technical. But mystical is what I’m thinking about right now.

There’s the belief, which I love, that each camera produces only so many good images, an admonishment to shoot thoughtfully. This one was related to me years ago by the late, great Johnny Cash Jr. and which I hope I am recalling and attributing correctly to the late beloved Winnipeg newspaper photographer and photo editor Jon Thordarson. (Have it got this right? If you know a truer version of this, please message me below or shoot me an email.)

There’s also the old potato about a camera stealing its subject’s soul. Perhaps your, like my, first inclination is to scoff at this so quickly as to barely give it a thought. But the fear, often ascribed to primitive tribes in early days of photography, casts a darker shadow in these days of digital ease of image capture and distribution and the digital-era unease over issues of copyright, privacy and control of not just what you create but what you are within the outline of your digital footprint. But this is making my head hurt, so let’s move on.

The film called Leave Me (embedded directly below), which I tripped over on Richard Arless Jr.’s facebook page (thank you Richard), floats another magical belief about cameras. It’s also a lovely film (with some maddening drop-outs in the audio). Three minutes. Gorgeous. Tissues might be in order.

Here’s where you can find out more about Daros Films, who are working on a full-length film called Greyscale. If you like the music on Leave Me, click here to find out about Daros’ kickstarter fundraising campaign for Greyscale, which will make you an investor as well as earn you an mp3 of the music.


snap: yeah, I’m on Instagram too

February 9, 2012

Don't Think You Are a Photographer Just Because You Use Instagram, via @nageam on Instagram

I’ve been around a few photographers. I know more people who take photos. Pardon me. Make photos. Which is a karma thing. Since discovering Instagram, a social photo sharing app I just started using on my iPhone, I know even more people who make photos. I spotted this photo recently in a few Instagram feeds, including @nageam’s. Not sure who made the original. Love the old broad. But love the sign even more.

Am I a photographer? Nope. But I love making pictures. And using Instagram is making me less self-conscious about squatting in front of a billboard, to use a recent example, to shoot a high angle (of would that be low?) of some anti SOPA and PIPA graffitti. Getting my coat filthy in the process and jumping nearly out of my skin when the construction worker (on break, sigh) sitting in his truck honked at me and called me over to show me on his iPhone how to flip the camera to facilitate easier angling. It’s just a big Instagram world, I guess.

So I guess you wanna see my feed. Of course you do. That’s me, @dduguay.

Denise Duguay


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 49 other followers

%d bloggers like this: