See Why Dawson City Has A Colourful History
Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
Tonight I'm in Dawson City, heart of the Klondike - and I thought it would be the perfect subject for today's Photo Story Friday post. First of all, I'd like to provide an answer to the many friends who asked what I'm doing here in the Yukon - there is a very simple answer. I'm extremely privileged to be here as a guest of Yukon Tourism.
I've spent time in this territory before, but this is my first time up in Dawson. It's a place I've read so much about and an area whose history I know so well. As we drove towards the outskirts of the city today, after a 460-kilometre journey north from Fox Creek, I must admit I felt as if I was actually entering a place I knew well, even though I had never set foot on her soil before.
I dropped my bags off at my room and immediately I did what any self-respecting photographer would do. I picked up both my cameras and headed out to capture the essence of this frontier town. Did I want to drive? Naaaah. As most of you know, I prefer to walk, because this way I can stop wherever I want and shoot whatever catches my eye.
Mate, let me tell you there is a lot that catches the eye here. I chose not to walk down the historic streets. Instead, I chose a pathway beside the mighty Yukon River that was the scene of many tales of pure adventure during the gold rush. I chose to walk alongside the fast-flowing waters to my left and shoot a frame every few steps, because I was totally intrigued by the paintwork on the buildings along the main street.
It was just after seven o'clock in the evening, but the light was perfect, as I'm sure you'll agree ...
It's handy, on a trip like this, to have two cameras. I have my 18-125mm lens on one Pentax and my 70-300mm lens on another. This enabled to me shoot a variety of focal lengths and compositions without having to stop and constantly change lenses on one solitary camera.
The first shot in this sequence was taken looking down the main street, while the second was taken about 100 metres away. Having the 300mm lens meant I was able to compose a really tight shot, highlighting the contrasting colours of two adjoining shops.
In the last shot (below) I zoomed in from a long way away. Initially, the red T-shirt and the olive green T-shirt worn by the two blokes on the white chairs had caught my attention. Then I noticed the other bloke walking towards them, so I just waited till he walked into the frame. It's a completely candid shot and it's interesting to note, in retrospect, that all three people are looking in different directions.