Working Stiffs

It's been a while since I've written anything about, let done anything with a backlog of images dating to summer of last year.

First some background. My day job was (note the use of the word was) working as a flight coordinator for a charter airline. The airline flew oil company personnel to and from work sites in Northern Alberta and British Columbia. With the current geopolitical situation driving oil prices to below the costs of production (let's face it, the Western Sedimentary Basin and the Oil Sands are not low cost production environments) the flying started to slow down and my shift switched from a four on, four off rotation to three days on the weekends. All well and good. I had to do something productive with my time so I took in upon myself to write a boat load of software (something I did in a previous life, back when dinosaurs ruled and Borland was still a real company) for the OCC to streamline our operations, revamp the operations handbook and develop a series of online courses. Oddly enough this kinda sapped any creative juices I had left and I only photographed in fits and starts.

Well, as you can surmise, the flying kept going down and I got laid off about two weeks ago. No big deal, shit happens. I'll just re-invent myself, again (even though it is getting a litle stale, this re-inventing business, it being the third or fourth time; I've lost count).

Wouldn't you know it, I was able to return to the backlog and there, the creative juices started to flow. I noticed that I had a quite a few images of the working man, the guy that BTO sang about in opening verse "Takin' Care of Business". You know the ones: the ones who deliver the beer, make sure the traffic flows, make sure that the lads don't get out of control. The ones who build our buildings, clean our streets, catch our fish. I went back to some off my older images, and found a seam of hard working souls that had gone unrecognized.

I'll be adding to this collection and what is in the post gallery will change over time as images get added and deleted as the concept unfold.

After the parade, the sweeper comes always comes out. It's a tiresome job and it never seems to end.
New York cops, like the boys from Joisey have a natural knack for hanging out. These guys in Times Square on a hot and very muggy evening were watching the usual goings on with a sense of ennui that only comes from having seen it all night after night after night.
Another Night at Times Square
Steveston Docks is where you can buy fresh fish in Vancouver, right off the boat. It was one of those cold, damp, foggy days; the Scots would call it dreich. This fisherman kept warm by a space heater at his feet and bundled up in a parka was selling this morning's catch of spotted shrimp
Shrimp on Ice
Calgary has its dreich days as well, usually in early March when the rain is mixed with wet snow. This delivery driver is loading up in Chinatown with beef from a hole in the wall butcher shop.
Finally, this old timer was photographed in Nobleford, Alberta. He's retired, but had worked as a rig hand across the Prairies and from north of the Arctic Circle down to the Middle East. We spent a pleasant while yarning about the patch (I've worked the rigs too) and I was able to make this image.
Rig Hand
So here's to all those folks: the ones who make sure things get done. 

You can view the project here.

1 comment:

  1. As usual, a great set of images, John. It's a shame that making any sort of money from street photography is pretty much impossible these days.