Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fall McCartney

I Was (Literally) On Top Of The World

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


It’s not often I’m a passenger in a vehicle, so it ain’t often I get the chance to use my camera in a moving car or SUV. Just before Christmas last year I had to go to northern India for five days and that was probably the first time I was able to work on the (considerably challenging) art of photography at high speed.

On that trip, we did the long northern highway from New Delhi to Dehra Dun and then back again - so I got a fair bit of practice. Then a couple of months ago I was in the Yukon and the lessons I learnt in India stood me in very good stead.

We travelled to a very tight schedule in the Yukon, covering just under two thousand kilometres in five days of serious travel. In that time, I shot hundreds of images through the window of an SUV travelling at high speed.


Crikey, it’s not every day you get to drive the Alaska Highway or the rugged Dempster Highway or even the awe-inspiring Top Of The World Highway. These shots were actually taken on American soil, in the US loop of the Top Of The World Highway that takes you from Dawson City in the Yukon, through Alaska and then back into Canadian territory just before Beaver Creek.

It was early fall and I was engrossed in the colours when I suddenly noticed this narrow patch of hillside coming up very quickly to my right. Fortunately we were in a left-hand-drive vehicle (which is crucial to a clear view on the right-hand side!) and I was able to train my lens on this scene.

Even though I spent a lot of time in Indian forests and conservation parks when I was very young, I don’t think I’ve ever seen foliage as dense as this in my life. Honestly, looking at this solitary clump of trees was like looking at the woven pattern on a woollen carpet.


There has been quite in increase in the number of new readers to this blog, so I’d just like to reiterate something that most people know - these images are not edited or enhanced in any way. What you see here is exactly what I saw through my viewfinder.

When you shoot a scene as memorable as this, in terms of sheer density of foliage and the concentration of colour, you don’t need to improve it using electronic means.

When I shot the last image (below) I had the immediate thought that the dark-green treetops, visible at random intervals through the fall colours, looked like asparagus spears. No, they weren’t Britney’s spears.


29 comments:

Moannie said...

Looked like Lichen, David, or spagnum [sic] moss underfoot. Terrific.

Charles Gramlich said...

Gorgeous foliage. I love that color

pat houseworth said...

Fall colors don't last long in that part of the world...you done good in getting those great shots.

Leslie: said...

By now all that beauty will be replaced by white, I'm sure. You lucked out with the time of year for your visit there. :D

aims said...

I laughed at your 'left-hand drive' comment David. Don't you know that is the proper place to drive a car from!

Top of the world - yes indeed. You make me proud many times with these images. It's a gorgeous country we live in - a gorgeous continent!

Lisa Milton said...

Those are breathtaking David. I love the color.

Helena said...

Stunning photo's. Really wonderful!

David, you MUST go and see this article-

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=665847

- and it took place in Adelaide so I hope you feature it!!!

LOL!!!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

looks a bit like a composite photo...though I know you don't do that!

the moss looks like it cold be a sea coral or the like...its amazing..and also reminds of pointilism or thickly applied acrylic paint in some of them...truly enticing..and interesting too!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

They are beautiful colours. I love these autumnal delights and you have captured them perfectly.

CJ xx

CrazyCath said...

Y'know? You were doing okay right up to the last sentence... lol

Beautiful autumn colours captured in there and they are very dense. Lovely shots.

Daryl said...

Just be-u-t-ful

And you did better than I, am I at all surprised? No. Took a covered tram tour of Storm King Art Center in Upstate NY 2 weekends ago and the tram never stopped .. or slowed down .. and it was raining, did I mention it was raining? I told Husband I was going to label some of the photos: ''in motion''

:-Daryl

GreenJello said...

I want to travel in Canada and Alaska, too! And Australia. And Europe. And Asia. And India. And and and...

Maggie May said...

You ARE funny with the little remarks and headings!
The photos are superb! However, they always are!
Lovely scenery and colours.

cheshire wife said...

Wonderful colours. More like Poetry in Motion than Britney Spears

Louise said...

Fall McCartney and Asparagus Spears? Is that when Jr. Asparagus marries Britney's son?

Never mind the puns, the photos are spectacular, mind-boggling, magnificent!

And you really want us to believe you NEVER, EVER take a picture while driving?

Sandi McBride said...

What beautiful fall tree color you captured. Such lovely colors contrasting with the blue of the sky. Heaven, that's where you were.
Sandi

Lew said...

Awesome photos of the yellow and green trees. The tall green spikes are among the colro are not seen here in our area. I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts of that trip!

Mojo said...

Those first two shots just blew my mind. I've had the experience of high-speed photography from the passenger side (and even occasionally from the driver's side) so I know what a challenge that can be.

I'll have to come back and poke about and see if I can find your shots from India. That's one of the top two places I want to visit before I die... should finances ever allow it.

Jo said...

Those photographs are amazing. I have seen trees like that in Northern BC and Alaska. But what's really amazing is the blue sky, and you have captured it.

Gorgeous!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Fabulous pictures David, the colours are just stunning.

I got a wonderful book this week - National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography. Talk about inspirational stuff and I have a Canon EFS 10-22mm lens arriving Friday, so I will be running around shooting landscapes and big Okie skies all weekend!

Merisi said...

Gold out of Dawson City, even while driving on the wrong side of the road, who would have thought! :-)Beeeautiful.

fishing guy said...

David: Beautiful capture of the Fall up North.

Hilary said...

Lovely, as always. Fall McCartney.. with John Lens on

Neva said...

The foliage is amazing and I really like the green evergreens in the middle of some of them...seems to me (from school) that it is almost impossible for evergreens to survive in a decidous forest....but what do I know?

lmerie said...

Amazing colors! I want to just go and sit there and stare!

katherine. said...

yes..lovely...

The Quintessential Magpie said...

David, in a word these photographs are breathtaking! Completely amazing. WOW! (four words, but who's counting?)

I popped over to let you know how much I appreciate you visiting my blog, and now, I'm almost too stunned to speak. Congratulations, that's really quite something, considering the face that I'm usually a very chatty, magpie-like creature.

I can't wait to check out the rest of your work! I'm going to hop over here and look at this tree. Who knows? I might just nest there. ;-)

Again, many thanks for paying us a call.

Sheila

becky voyles said...

Such intense beautiful colors. Loved the last line. LOL

i beati said...

This is when I'm most grateful for my eyes when I gaze upon scenes like this ..sk