19 pics from ’19

Medardo Verastegui Inga, momentarily without his wooden mask, prepares to perform the Huaconada de Mito in Mito, Peru on January 1, 2019
© J. Ashley Nixon


For the last few years, I have made annual collections of images that I feel to best represent my photographic work around people, places and performance. The project has progressively grown to match the year, so this time there are nineteen photos. The word “best” is used subjectively here; the collection holds images that appeal to me for their narrative message, their composition or other photographic attributes. It also includes some of my own “favourites”, which I hope resonate and make connections with you, the viewer. Here are some of the highlights.

Filming the Huaconada and Huaylarsh

2019 began for me in the town of Mito, Peru to make a documentary film about the Huaconada de Mito. Trailer and Behind the Scenes films were entered for the My RØDE Reel competition in August and I completed production of the full documentary at the end of December. It was an honour to be welcomed by Medardo Verastegui Inga (featured in the photo above) and others in his community to film this dancing ritual that has been recognized by UNESCO for its Intrinsic Cultural Heritage. A photo book from the project is scheduled for publication in mid-2020. I also met with Dance Group Tuky to film their performance of the Huaylarsh in Huancayo.

Climate action

The Global Climate Strike that broke out around the world in 2019 came to Calgary in September, with a peaceful demonstration outside City Hall. Photographing the actions of  these young people is a small contribution from me to help communicate their message which I hope stimulates stronger actions on the climate crisis by our elected representatives in 2020.

Music and dance

I photographed the Sled Island Music and Arts Festival for my fourth consecutive year in June and participated once more with Raíces del Peru, in their Peruvian dance performance at the Calgary Stampede Parade.

Hockey and rugby

The Calgary Fire Red Midget Elite team came back home from their road trip north to Grande Prairie with the winner’s banner for the Alberta Provincial Championship in the 2018-19 season. The artistic elements of photographing hockey came out during the year and I shot a short film about hockey in Blackie, Alberta for the Hockey 24 hours project in November. I am excited to announce that one of my images will be exhibited in Alberta’s Photography Festival Exposure as part of the Emerging Photographers Showcase throughout February 2020 at the Festival HQ, Contemporary Calgary. More on that next year!

My book on the history of the Calgary Canucks Rugby Club was published in May 2019 and in September, the Canucks 1st XV clinched their first play-off championship in Alberta.

City repairs

In September, my youngest son, William and I journeyed to Scotland for the wedding of my eldest son, Callum to Emma. Yes, I took wedding photos and yes, we wore kilts but neither are featured in the collection! Instead, and in closing, I offer you one of my favourite images from 2019, taken in Broughton Street, Edinburgh  when the night road repair crew worked under cinematic lighting conditions.

Gallery of 19 pics from ’19

Here is the link to my photo gallery with my 19 selections from 2019.

Thank you for reading my blog articles and liking my photos on Instagram during 2019.

Happy New Year in 2020!    Feliz Año Nuevo!

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