Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Alaska for a few hours, traversing the Top of The World Highway as we looped back into the Yukon. This was taken when we made a brief stop at the tiny settlement of Chicken, just past the US-Canada border at Poker Creek.
But a photographer never rests. There are too many sights to shoot, too many visions of beauty to capture. I opted for the Pentax K200D with my long lens (the Sigma 70-300mm) to take the shots of the biplane kite that can be seen at Soar Point.
I was just walking away when I noticed an unusual sight. I am an avid gardener and I'm accustomed to seeing flowers blooming in some very creative spots. But the sights of these healthy petunias in a large, rusty bucket caught my eye immediately.
I'd seen the buckets lined up alongside the SS Klondike in Whitehorse, and I'd seen them at several places during this week-long trip organised by Yukon Tourism. The heavy metal objects, of course, are disused dredge buckets, which are such a common sight along the gold trail in this part of the world.
I should have used my Pentax K100D with the 18-125 Sigma lens, but as I walked, I just hit the shutter on the K200D with the long lens. I shot three frames, very quickly, in the bright midday sun. My main focus in this particular frame was the fresh bud and its clear-cut shadow. I wanted to try and use the harsh light and the corroded surface of the dredge bucket to emphasise the sight of Nature's beauty surrounded by rust.
This is just a low-res version of the shot, but on the high-res original you can actually see the delicate white fibres that are so common to petunia buds and that give the blooms and leaves that unique sticky feeling.
I used the gentle diagonal slope of the bucket's left-hand edge and the deep shadow on its outer lip, facing away from the sun, as added value for the foreground, while the composition allowed me to use the soft colours and purples spikes of the other blooms as an interesting background.
Also, when you think about it, you don't often get the chance to photograph a flower's shadow on metal in such close proximity.
Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.