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The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: A look back at the year in photos on Canada's West Coast

The Globe and Mail’s award-winning photographer John Lehmann has travelled the world during the past 11 years he’s worked for the paper, but says British Columbia remains one of the most diverse and interesting places in which to shoot. He sat down with reporter Steven Chua to discuss the year in pictures. *** A key difference between many of this year’s shots and last year is that many of my pictures in 2011 were based around event-driven news. This year, many of the stories I shot were based around individuals or communities. It allowed me to get back to my passion for documentary photography. A lot of the time I just have an idea of something I want to know more about, and think if I want to know more about it, then maybe readers would be interested as well. It’s a different setting — documentary photography is a lot more intimate, and can be a lot more time consuming. First, you have to find people, and then you have to put in time together. Usually, it starts with an e-mail or phone call that shows you’re interested in what they do. I think anytime you’re willing to talk to someone or photograph them about what it is they are passionate about, they want others to see what they’re in love with. I think they often view it as a way of communicating with other people how they see themselves. It’s a lot more intimate. You really have to get into these people’s lives. They have to trust you and you have to trust them. You must be patient and willing to waste a few hours waiting for that defining moment. But being there with that person with that intimacy and intensity will pay off, because you will find opportunities you wouldn’t get by just parachuting in for an hour to cover something.

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A farm worker use makes his way out of the cranberry field after a long day at the Maybog Farm in Richmond, B.C., November 6, 2012. This years cranberry harvest was delayed by several weeks because of the warm weather in September and farmers are now in a rush to beat the winter frost.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Flowers placed on a dead beached whale on White Rock Beach, in White Rock June 12, 2012.

John Lehmann/John Lehmann/Globe and Mail

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Participant in the Tough Mudder event is helped out of a partially frozen lake in Callaghan Valley South of Whistler June 24, 2012. Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. This was the first Canadian event with a second event taking place at Mount St. Louis Moonstone Ski Resort in August.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Gold miner George Vanderwolf pans for gold in the Fraser river as ice and snow float by in Lillooet November 13, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Participants before the annual Vancouver polar bear swim at Sunset Beach January 1, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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A rider splashes through the river during the first heat of the mountain race at Nemiah Valley Rodeo August 4, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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An upset CeeJay Julian speaks directly to Wally Oppal while he gives his report into the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in Vancouver December 17, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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Angela Dawson directs pedestrians and traffic at Main and Hastings in Vancouver March 5, 2012. Traffic vigilante Angela Dawson has a mission in life -- to make the world a safer place. Ms. Dawson wheels around the intersection of Main and Hastings in Vancouver Downtown Eastside dressed in bright pinks and reds to keep herself safe as she waves pedestrians, cars, trucks, buses and even cyclists through the very busy intersection.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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A very disappointed and dejected jockey Richard Hamel, last years leading ridder, makes his way back to the jockey's locker room after he pulled up on the horse and had to jump off at Hastings Racetrack in Vancouver October 8, 2012.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

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