Bearing Up Remarkably Well
Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
Like the advertising slogan famously said, never leave home without it. If you thought the subject of this shot was deodorant, look again at the bold label on the curved surface.
I took this photograph on my last day in Whitehorse, when I went on a memorable trip in a sturdy 4WD (SUV, to most of my readers) with the erudite Charlie McLaren, an architect and adventure enthusiast who also runs Shadow Lake Expeditions.
His vehicle was packed with all the essentials. Snacks. Water. Juice. Binoculars. Winch. Wire. Plenty of fuel. And, yup, bear spray.
I’d been so intent on shooting as we drove up Coal Road that I hadn’t looked down to the vicinity of his mid-seat console. Then, after we returned to the vehicle after making our first stop at a stunning lookout point, I noticed the can of spray.
As you know, I always shoot objects exactly as they are. I never move them to make use of better light conditions or more interesting backgrounds, nor do I illuminate them artificially. To my mind, that is the true challenge for a photographer.
In this case, the bright orange tab provided a striking contrast to the shiny silver and black tones of the canister, while the grey-blue hues of the interior worked really well in the frame.
And can you see the sky in the shot? Look carefully and you’ll see vivid blue sky with wafting white clouds reflected on the convex shape of the canister.
Finally, what do you do when confronted by a bear? Do you solemnly intone "Let us pray"? Er, that would be no. Instead, you follow the advice "Let us spray".