I’m up to my usual tricks again, it seems…. with 2024 fast approaching, surely a retrospective of 2022’s favourite photographs seems in order? As a special treat, I’ve actually managed to keep it to ten this time. And also as usual, they’re in no particular order, and can be found in this Flickr set if you prefer.
This year’s edition leans into concert photography a bit more than previous years – a genre I’ve really been enjoying. But never fear, long-time readers (if there are any of you) – there is a bit of motorsports in the mix, too.
RCMP Musical Ride, Royal Horse Show, Toronto
I’m always up for some slow-shutter motion blur, especially when the subject is as visually compelling as the Mounties on horseback. Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and Horse Show, Exhibition Place, Toronto.
Alex McCulloch, Free Times Cafe, Toronto
Razor-sharp lyrics and a big voice. A connection via a mutual friend who was also performing on the same night. The Free Times Cafe is a long-standing pillar of downtown live music in Toronto, with typical club lighting (i.e., not enough), but still a great place to see and hear musicians.
Scott Dixon, winner of the 2022 Honda Indy Toronto
This was Dixon’s fourth win in Toronto – still a long way from catching up to seven-time winner Michael Andretti – and fifty-second IndyCar victory in total, tying him for second all-time with Michael’s legendary father Mario.
#5 Tristan Vautier / Richard Westbrook JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R
The last visit of the DPi cars to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park before being replaced by a newer prototype formula. IMSA sportscar racing at its best at a classic, natural-terrain road course with many excellent through-the-trees viewpoints.
Riley Green and fans, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
Photo taken during one of David Bergman’s excellent Shoot From The Pit concert photography workshops. Probably the best money I’ve ever spent on anything related to photography, and an opportunity to shoot from almost anywhere in a very large venue.
Green flag, Porsche Carrera Cup, Toronto
Once in a while there comes an opportunity to do something really fun at the Honda Indy Toronto. In this case, clambering up the flag stand to capture a VIP guest flagging the start of one of the support races. I’ve on one occasion done the same at the end of a race, capturing the chequered flag at the headline IndyCar event.
Sydney Riley, Meridian Place, Barrie, Ontario
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and extra threat on bass guitar, here on stage at the Canadian Musicians Co-op showcase concert in Barrie, Ontario. Note to concert organizers: always bring a smoke machine, please.
Feura, The Rec Room, Barrie, Ontario
I’ve photographed Feura on many occasions now, but this was my first exposure to this punk-pop powerhouse. It’s a good challenge trying to keep up, especially with the frequent forays into the audience.
Blue Rodeo, Royal Fair gala opening
As part of the grand opening of the hundredth anniversary edition of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Canadian legends Blue Rodeo appeared on stage at the Coca-Cola Coliseum. A rare opportunity to shoot a major act from side-stage rather than down in front. I’m hiding from the audience behind a speaker stack.
Luke Combs, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
And finally, another from the Shoot From The Pit workshop. Luke Combs, one of the biggest names in country music, is well known for doing violence to red solo cups full of beverages during his show, and he didn’t disappoint here. I’m reliably told that this is Jack Daniels and Coke.
So there you go. My “best of 2023” candidates set currently still has 16 photos in it, so some decisions need to be made before that post materializes – I hope before December of 2024! In the meantime, happy holidays to anyone who’s actually reading this, and all the best for the new year ahead.