BLOG: My favorite photos I shot during 2013 (all photos Richard Budman)

I look back fondly on the year that was 2013 for my photography. I tried to get better and more creative in my picture taking as I decided to take a few photography courses. Got the privilege to travel coast to coast in Canada again including traveling to the farthest east I’ve ever been – Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland. I also got out west a few times and snapped a few good photos in Alberta and BC. So, without further ado here are some of my favorite picture-taking moments of 2013. (All photos Richard Budman)

My first truly memorable shooting experience of 2013 was the Women’s World Hockey Championship in Ottawa in early April.

Was in Vancouver to shoot the auto show and finally did something I’d been so curious about on my previous visits – took a trip in a seaplane!

It was great to finally see the Toronto Maple Leafs return to the playoffs in 2013. It was even greater to see Maple Leafs Square outside the ACC fill up with thousands of fans for each of the playoff games. When the Leafs went up 4-1 in the 3rd period of Game 7 against Boston – I decided to head to the Square and shoot what I surely thought would be a sports celebration this city hadn’t seen in a while. Well, we all know how that one turned out. Still, while I expected to be shooting fans in ecstasy – I was reminded agony also presents plenty of good photo opportunities.

One of my favorite events to work on is Chevrolet’s Safe & Fun hockey program. It’s has taken me to some great cities the last few years. There is just something perfectly Canadian about working on a program that truly supports grassroots hockey development across Canada.

Traveled the furthest east in Canada I’d ever been before during 2013 as we got to The Rock – Newfoundland. Was there on behalf of General Motors of Canada to shoot a test drive event that brought to the Rock prominent automotive journalists. It was also cool to have our very own Chevrolet Silverado and drive hundreds of kilometers up and down the mountains where almost anywhere we stopped had the background of a brilliant photo op.

One of my favorite shooting experiences of 2012 was the chance I had to work with the Canadian Women’s National soccer team – especially as they became THE story of the London summer Games. The team – led by Captain Christine Sinclair played a match against their Olympic rivals, the U.S. at BMO Field in early June. It was amazing to see BMO filled to capacity as over 22,000 people turned out for the game.

Spent quite a few days during the summer at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formally known as, and often still referred to as simply Mosport.)

Spent some time at the Rogers Cup tennis events in both Toronto and Montreal again during 2013. Got some nice pics of Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard – who ended 2013 as the male and female Canadian athletes of the year (the first time it has ever been awarded to two athletes in the same sport.)

One of my photography classes had has go to the Toronto Zoo! I hadn’t been to the Zoo in years. I further learned it’s damn hard to get a great shot of the animals (you think it can take a while for a human to give you a great look into the camera – try waiting on an animal. 🙂 Still had a fun day and was happy to get at least an interesting yawn out of the Zoo’s star attraction – the giant pandas.

If I had one regret in 2013 – I just didn’t have the chance (or time) to shoot much live music – still one of my favorite things to photograph. When I heard one of my favorite MC’s of all – Talib Kweliwas making an appearance at Toronto’s Dundas Square – I got my ass down there.

Finally made it Banff, Alberta and it was everything I thought it would be. I loved Banff so much I ended up getting back there two more times before the year was up.

One of my favorite events to cover has been the Calgary Stampede. It was my 3rd time shooting the Stampede in 2013. It rained a lot the first few days (and believe me, Calgary didn’t need any more water as the city was still recovering from terrible flooding that occurred just two weeks before.) As usual, there was no shortage of photo opportunities at the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth.

One of the biggest stories of the year in Toronto happened in the final week of 2013. The Ice Storm created some turmoil in the city and caused the power to be out for hundreds of thousands of residents. I thankfully didn’t lose power but the Sunday storm did cause my plans with friends to change. I was restless so I decided to head out into my new Leslieville neighborhood and see what picture taking opportunities an ice storm might bring.