The Cloudscape That Led Me To A Memorial
I’m not a stormchaser. But yes, I guess you could call me a cloudchaser. I photograph them from terra firma, I photograph them from light planes, I photograph them from hills and mountains, I photograph them from commercial airliners.
Part of the fascination is that they constantly change shape and colour, but most of the time these massive mobile works of art escape the attention of the general public.
Three years ago, while I was walking around Quebec City, I was hoping to get some good shots around the port area, but the weather was not the best. I had shot a lot of unusual scenes in pouring rain when things started to clear up, but only marginally.
Looking across the famous grain elevators towards the Saint Lawrence River, I was fascinated by the colours and the cloudscape. All the photos in this sequence were shot on a film-based Canon EOS 3000, a camera I always enjoyed using.
At some point, this statue caught my eye and I remember walking a fair distance to see what it was. I’m so glad I did. The commemorative figure at Pointe-à-Carcy, sculpted by Raoul Hunter, had been unveiled almost three years previously to the day. It shows a generic merchant seaman, with no apparent definition of rank, waving goodbye in a casual, frozen salute.
While writing this post, I researched the background story and realised that the statue honours those from the province of Quebec who lost their lives in wartime. At the base of the statue you can actually see the stern of a sinking vessel. The monument was paid for by donations from a group of organisations including the Canadian Merchant Service Guild.
This final shot (below), taken at plinth level, is probably my favourite from the series. Trouser cuffs, the boots of a man who never came home – and a wreath to all those who failed to return home from the sea.
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