Our Favourite Photos of 2017

Relay racers change horses during the Wakpamini Lake Area Communities Traditional Wacipi & Horse Races in Batesland, SD. Amber Bracken for National Geographic

Frozen bald eagles are stored in bags at the National Eagle Repository in Denver, CO. Even though staff work hard to fill orders, there is a long waitlist for eagle parts and highly prized items, like juvenile golden eagle feathers, can take years to receive. Amber Bracken for National Geographic

A freshly minted steel slab is testing by scarfing a thin layer off to check for cracks in the slab at Stelco’s plant in Nanticoke, Ontario on November 14, 2017. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

Protestors wait for a subway train, with face coverings on in protest of Bill 62 in Montreal, Quebec on October 22, 2017. (Cole Burston/For The New York Times)

Everyone helps out at branding time on the Pincher Creek hutterite colony in southern Alberta. Photo by Leah Hennel

Sister Adrianne, 90, is living out her days at St. Joseph’s Convent in Mundane, Alberta. Photo by Leah Hennel

Canadian Olympic rower Conlin McCabe carries a canoe across a street in Vancouver during the Hudson Bay Grand Portage opening in Vancouver, B.C., on June 22, 2017.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong

June 13, 2017- Calmar, Alberta, Canada - After the fall of Saigon, Huong Tran fled with her six children on a long journey on a boat to Canada. She sold all her belongings to buy food for the voyage and arrived in Canada with two dollars and fear of the unknown.Houng “I was afraid to get off so I sat in my seat clinging to Nhung.” I didn’t know how I would support my children in a country where I didn’t speak the language. Canadian sponsors helped her find work, made sure the children’s medical and dental care was taken care of and co-signed a mortgage so she could buy a townhome where she still lives today. Her youngest daughter Nhung went on to become a doctor. Nhung now sponsors two Syrian refugee families. Jimmy Jeong for the UNHCR

A dream shoot with Helena Bonham Carter while she was premiering her new film, 55 Steps. A TIFF (/life) highlight. Jennifer Roberts for Getty Entertainment.

Chef Michael Stadtlander stands by one of his many sculptures. Jennifer Roberts for The Wallstreet Journal

Photo by Christopher Pike

Participants climb during qualifying for the Red Bull Psicobloc 2017 Dibba, Oman on December 8, 2017. Christopher Pike for Redbull.

Danny Murphy lives with his wife Pat on a stretch of land bordering a pond a good half-hour outside Uranium City, if you don’t get stuck on the old mining roads that lead to their homes. Danny built two homes (one winter, one summer), a guest house and other buildings on the property all from the scraps of abandoned homes and businesses in UC. From the lumber to the windows and the sinks, pretty much everything came from the ruins of the former mining city. They live in remote peace and quiet surrounded by bears, wolves and the rock and forest of the Canadian shield. Danny hunts and traps when he is well enough - his heart has stopped three times. A hole still marks where he shot an intrusive bear through the front door of their home. Photo by Tim Smith

Twilight at the cemetery in Uranium City. Solar lights adorn all the graves in the cemetery that is home to more residents than the former mining city. Photo by Tim Smith

2017 was a defining year for Rogue Collective. Like other photographers and photo collectives, we struggled with the changing media landscape and our role within it. But the biggest realization came when we stepped out of this crazy downward spiral. The pursuit was now focused on other avenues including going deeper into personal projects and allying with agencies that still believe in the power of photography. 

Amber Bracken was recognized this year with a World Press Photo Award (and a POYi and several more awards) after repeatedly returning to Standing Rock to follow the story of the Standing Rock Sioux people who were defending their land and water. This led to further work including being tapped by National Geographic to travel to South Dakota. Jennifer Roberts worked with the Globe and Mail to travel across Canada to follow-up on their Unfounded series which discovered that one in five sexual assault cases are dismissed by police. Roberts also had a dream gig photographing Helena Bonham-Carter for Getty. And Christopher Pike worked on a dream assignment with Redbull hanging from the side of cliffs above world-class climber Chris Sharma. A perfect fit for his own passions for high adventures in climbing, scuba diving and deep cave explorations.

Jimmy Jeong headed to his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on a story about the Tran family who had fled after the fall of Saigon and were welcomed by Canadian sponsors. The youngest of the family became a doctor and now sponsors two Syrian refugee families. Cole Burston followed several stories for the the New York Times with their expanding Canada bureau. We predict there will be more expanding international media coverage here as our own publications are sadly cut. Tim Smith continued his focus on small fringe communities including travelling to the dying town of Uranium City, Saskatchewan for Maclean’s Magazine. The once boom-town of 5000 has dwindled to a population of 50 - a seemingly common trend for small rural centres in Canada. Leah Hennel also continued her own personal projects following the stories of communities in rural southern Alberta including Hutterite families and working cowboys. Her photo of a cowboy in the foothills near Pincher Creek won her a National Newspaper Award this year.

So as 2018 approaches we just want to thank our families and friends. A big bow and thanks to our allies and clients that tell such great stories. And a special thanks to this wonderful Canadian photojournalism community.

Young hutterite girls watch the solar eclipse with welding masks at the Pincher creek colony. Leah Hennel

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