Life as a college student during COVID-19

Despite the restrictions imposed by the current pandemic, our photojournalism college program is moving ahead. Our classes are mostly online and I must say I do miss the interaction with our teaching staff and the other students but we’re making the most of it. It is a bit frustrating to only be able to hear, and if we’re lucky see, our teachers and the other students on a computer screen but we’re getting the same quality of instruction. I continue to be inspired by what we learn as budding storytellers and I’m amazed at how much I have been developing my skills in many areas such as portrait, storytelling, profiles and features.

The main challenge for us as photojournalism students is to be able to find events to cover. The restrictions are even getting more strict now with the onset of the second wave so it is a challenge for all of us. Despite these difficulties, we are moving ahead and “doing the best we can” under the circumstances. I am personally getting more adept at just walking around town and seeing potential stories develop. It is exciting to find interesting stories just by talking to a few folks on the street.

I took this candid photograph, for example, after I had a fascinating conversation with this nice lady. She had an interesting story which I would never have known if I had not been brave enough to start a conversation.

KINGSTON, Ont. (09/10/2020) – Iryna Janiec serves a customer from her food cart in front of the Kingston City Hall on October 9, the last weekend she will be here this season. The day started a cool one degree celsius but warmed up to a comfortable 15 degrees. Janiec emigrated to Canada from Belarus three years ago to move with her Polish-Canadian husband who works in Kingston. “I met my husband in 2004 on the internet,” she says. It took many years for her to be able to emigrate to Canada but she is glad to be here now, especially with the unrest currently in Belarus. “In the beginning, I did not understand English but now I have learned some and plan to go back to school to learn more,” she adds. Photo by Daniel Geleyn

Photojournalism Program Year 2

Well, I’m back at school for my second and final year of the Photojournalism program at Loyalist College in Belleville. Due to the pandemic, most of our classes are being conducted online. It takes a bit a getting used to but we are making the most of it.

I’m looking forward to continue to build on the storytelling skills we started last year. One of our biggest challenge will be to find events to cover given the pandemic. Below is an example of what can be done as some cities, like Kingston, are slowly trying to get back to some normalcy.

KINGSTON, Ont. (12/09/2020) – September Saturday Night Blues Presents event in downtown Kingston featuring the Kim Pollard Band at the Springer Market Square. Photo by Daniel Geleyn

One year of Photojournalism education completed

I have now completed my first year of the Photojournalism program at Loyalist College in Belleville. It’s been an eye-opening experience. We are learning the art of story-telling through images, captions, short articles and even short videos. It has been great to expand my skills and confidence this way. In addition to having a number of my images published in The Pioneer, the College paper, I even had one of my images published in The Toronto Star. I’m looking forward to the second year of the program.

Kevin Koe and his Canada team were not able to defend their title at the Tim Hortons Brier in Kingston. The team was eliminated on Saturday morning, March 2, 2020 as they lost eight to three after eight ends to the Northern Ontario team led by Brad Jacobs. Photo by Daniel Geleyn
The Mohawks from Tyendinaga are still blocking the CN Rail at 4pm on Feb. 12, 2020 despite having been served an injunction to clear the track the day before. Many passenger and cargo trains have been postponed since the beginning of the blockade last Thursday in support of the Wet’suwet’en from British Columbia. “We’ve been getting lots of support and media coverage” says Wayne from the group at the blockade. Photo by Daniel Geleyn
Chris Whyman, the Kingston Town Crier, accompanied by the Kingston Chief of Police, walk in front of City Hall at the completion of the Santa parade on November 16, 2019. The Santa parade is one of hundreds of events attended by Whyman every year as part of his duties but it is also one of his favourites. It was a cold evening but a memorable one for the residents of Kingston. Photo by Daniel Geleyn