Convention Centre

Eid al Fitr, in photographs

The festival of Eid (or Eid al Fitr) is a joyous occasion in Muslim cultures. It marks the end of a month of fasting and introspection during the period of Ramadan, which is a time of reflecting on the blessings one has and to give to charity. In fact, some Christians may see some parallels between Lent and Ramadan, and Eid and Easter.
Here in Winnipeg, Eid is perhaps most notably marked by a large gathering at the downtown Convention Centre and I was fortunate enough to observe this year’s event at the beginning of June.

Held in a spectacular upstairs room fronted by a floor-to-ceiling window, the cavernous space was bathed in light, and the relatively-small figures of the faithful traced long dark shadows as they walked through the early morning sunlight.
It was hard not to see and feel some spiritual metaphors in a diverse group of people coming together in a brilliant, open space. I was free to discreetly walk about, trying to record the feeling and essence of this upbeat gathering. It was a wonderful time to be a photographer.

My thanks to the Manitoba Islamic Association for their help and of course friends Nilufer Rahman and Dr. Rehman Absulrehman!

The first image made when I arrived - surely a good omen for the day’s photography!

The first image made when I arrived - surely a good omen for the day’s photography!

I don’t like using long lenses, much preferring a ‘normal’ or slight wide angle lens. I want my images to subtly help the viewer feel as though they were in the middle of what was happening. It also requires me to interact with subjects, and be mindful of how I affect them and the overall scene.

I don’t like using long lenses, much preferring a ‘normal’ or slight wide angle lens. I want my images to subtly help the viewer feel as though they were in the middle of what was happening. It also requires me to interact with subjects, and be mindful of how I affect them and the overall scene.

Father and Sons, Eid al Fitr
I could write pages about the glorious light on the morning of this event. It was a sensory feast, with beautiful light and shadow, a dazzling array of clothing and peoples, the fascinating sounds of prayer and the warmth of truly sincere smiles and friendliness.

I could write pages about the glorious light on the morning of this event. It was a sensory feast, with beautiful light and shadow, a dazzling array of clothing and peoples, the fascinating sounds of prayer and the warmth of truly sincere smiles and friendliness.

How to find one face, one person, in a crowd that tells the overall story of so many others? That’s the job of a photojournalist and a photographer.

How to find one face, one person, in a crowd that tells the overall story of so many others? That’s the job of a photojournalist and a photographer.

Father and Son, Eid al Fitr
“I’ve Got Goals”…great shirt, kid.

“I’ve Got Goals”…great shirt, kid.

Prayer Beads, Eid al Fitr
I’d held my camera above my head, in order to get the right perspective on people leaving the event after its conclusion. I liked the lines and overall visual pattern. I didn’t realize until I got home to edit the images hours later that this woman gave a special shout-out to me! Whoever you are, thanks!

I’d held my camera above my head, in order to get the right perspective on people leaving the event after its conclusion. I liked the lines and overall visual pattern. I didn’t realize until I got home to edit the images hours later that this woman gave a special shout-out to me! Whoever you are, thanks!

Stand, Eid al Fitr
Humility, Eid al Fitr
The colours and sheer visual parade was fantastic for a photographer. This dress immediately caught my eye.

The colours and sheer visual parade was fantastic for a photographer. This dress immediately caught my eye.