Just a few hours ago, Margaret Goodwin of Yukon Tourism drove me up to the top of The Dome here in Dawson City. We joined about eight other people watching and photographing the setting sun and I was able to shoot some memorable images of a golden sunset that looked as though someone had poured a molten ingot across the sky.
A few seconds after the sun had disappeared slowly over the horizon, I scrambled up to the very pinnacle - and that was when I looked all around for the first time. Because I spent my high school years in a wonderful boarding school in the Himalayan town of Darjeeling, I am accustomed to the wonderful post-sunset colours over a range of hills.
But here on The Dome, I experienced something very rare. It's not often a city slicker like me gets to stand on such a high vantage point - and be able to look at a ring of peaks all the way around, for an entire 360 degrees. At every quadrant of the compass was a vista even more breathtaking than the one before.
After the true sunlight began to fade, I spent several minutes in the soft lingering embers of the day, shooting into the valleys and across the now-silver rivers snaking across the landscape. Finally, I put the lens cap on both cameras and carefully negotiated the scrabbling shale down the hillside to where the car was parked.
Just before I opened the door, I looked back across the valley where the sun had disappeared, and I was awe-struck at the many tones and hues of blue that briefly played across the hills. The closer hills were darker than the rest, while the furthest peaks were lighter in colour. The sky still had some remaining vestiges of colour, but I wanted something more to help me frame this stunning scene.
That's when I noticed the branches of a spruce tree nearby and it just took me a few seconds to work out exactly how I wanted to capture the arresting beauty of the scene in front of me. I shot this with my 300 mm lens - and no, it's not enhanced in any way. There is simply no need to use an electronic program of any sort to try and improve on the power of Nature.