As 2011 comes to a close, I took a look back at my first full year as a photojournalist. From the Stanley Cup riots to the Occupy movement there were no shortage of great photographic moments. I compiled a short list of my favorite shots of the year.
Around the world many other significant changes took place and with it many powerful images were captured. From the Arab Spring to financial turmoil in Europe to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, there were no shortage of captivating photos. Here’s a list of some of the top photos for 2011 compiled by various news outlets:
- Buzzfeed’s 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011
- The Boston Globe’s Year in Pictures series – Part I – Part II – Part III
- Reuters 100 best photos of 2011 (*Bonus: includes the equipment and settings used for each photo)
- The Atlantic’s three-part year in photos series
- Winners to the National Geographic 2011 photo contest
My top-5 news photo events for 2011:
5. The 4/20 pot rally – Every year on April 20 thousands of pot enthusiasts gather at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 2011, a record 15,000 gathered this time taking aim at the 2011 Canadian federal election and demanding the drug become decriminalized. With four former Vancouver mayors pushing for legal pot later on in the year, there is no doubt that this issue won’t go away.
4. Political leaders making their mark – 2011 saw a Canadian federal election and municipal elections across British Columbia. I was able to snap a few photos when then federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff stopped by Langara College on the campaign trail in March. And I went to Vision Vancouver’s headquarters when Mayor Gregor Robertson and his municipal party swept the Nov. 19 Vancouver civic elections.
3. Arab Spring hits close to home – After interviewing an Egyptian student about the revolution unfolding in his home country in February, it really hit me just how significant the uprisings taking place in Arab world were becoming. Two months later, I attended a peace rally held on April 9 at Vancouver’s Library Square where many Libyan-Canadians attended to voice their concerns with the events taking place back home. The crowd of nearly 100 was divided on whether NATO forces should intervene with the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his forces. Some of the protesters voiced concerns that the NATO countries had their own motives.
2. Vancouver gets Occupied – On October 15 Vancouver and many cities across the world joined in with the Occupy Wall Street movement. More than 5,000 protesters gathered on the first day to voice their frustrations with social and economic inequality, corporate greed and government corruption among a host of other topics. The blog post I first created that covered the event generated great interest, especially the unique “We are the Nyan Nyan percent” sign made by a woman who blended the internet meme the Nyan Cat with the popular Occupy Wall Street slogan.
1. The Stanley Cup riots – For a journalism student looking to get experience in the field, I can’t think of no better scenario (unfortunately) than a full-blown riot. After the Vancouver Canucks lost the 2011 Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins on June 15 fans turned over and torched cars, smashed store windows, looted while lighting the city on fire. It was a dark day for Vancouver as the Stanley Cup riot gained international attention and a multitude of epic photos including the world-famous shot of the couple kissing shot by Getty Images’ Rich Lam.