Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Q Is For Quebec City

The Cloudscape That Led Me To A Memorial

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


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.


For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

27 comments:

sandyshares said...

i love the churches there and the speedy talking French speaking childremn hahah

Cheffie-Mom said...

David this is a touching post. The pictures are amazing. This line is powerful. "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."

fishing guy said...

David: What a wonderful surprise for your camera.

Celebration of Life said...

A tear jerker, this one is!
Beautiful pictures and beautifully written!
Jo

Moannie said...

Touching story, especially poignant today. Last one is favourite.

RBK's Realm said...

Love the pictures especially of the statue. It is amazing how much I am "traveliing" around the world through your blog.

And I am especially enjoying English as I grew up with i.e without dropping the extra "Ls" and the "Us" in the written language...

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Wonderful post David!
and great photos. The last one is especially poignant... very poetic.

CrazyCath said...

Wonderful statue. Lovely shots and I love the close up too. Great tribute.

Love the one of the scudding clouds too.

Hilary said...

Beautiful post, David. I'm watching our Canadian Remembrance Day ceremonies on television at this moment. My son is proudly marching in one of the Ottawa parades.

mrsnesbitt said...

How moving David, I had a tear in my eye, well to be truthful I had a few.

Dxx

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Beautiful David!!! I love the perspective on #3 as well.

Virtualsprite said...

What beautiful photos and even more beautiful words. I have always wanted to visit Quebec and this has further cemented that desire.

Thanks for the comment on my blog!

cheshire wife said...

They say every picture tells a story and this one certainly does. And we have your inquisitive nature to thank for it.

RuneE said...

There were many of those - far too many.

Maggie May said...

They are all good but there is something about that photo at the end!
Very good.

Steph said...

I have something for you on my blog!

Millennium Housewife said...

Wow wee, perspective on the last pic, with the people walking in the distance made me look again - and again! At first it looks like they're walking on the base of the statue, thereby rendering it enormous! what a thrill, thankyou!
Cloud formations are never lost on children, they follow them everywhere and see pictures in them all. Lying on your back on the grass with a child looking at cloud formations gives you a whole new prespective, both of clouds and the child. MH

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

Hello David,

nice theme for rhe Q, I have not been yet in Qubec, I would love to..

Here's my Q:
www.joannwalraven.blogspot.com

Greetings happy ABC
JoAnn's D Eyes

raf said...

Very enjoyable Q post, David. Thank you!

Mary said...

David,

I came to your blog through Jeni and am glad I did. Your photographs are very inspiring. Though I am Canadian, I have never been to Quebec City. It's one place I would like to visit.

Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed my visit.

Blessings,
Mary

womaninawindow said...

Neat. I was always partial to the old buildings in Quebec city, and the thrift stores, and the cafes. Darn, Quebec has a lot to offer!

Leslie: said...

Wonderful post and appropriate as today we celebrate all those fallen in battle since WW1. I love that last shot.

terri said...

Jeni sent me over. She mentioned your amazing photography and she was right. Beautiful!

Jamie Dawn said...

Clouds are indeed fascinating and ever changing.

I love the story behind the statue.
Those who did not return from war deserve to be remembered and honored.

Bear Naked said...

Your photography skills have captured Raoul Hunter's sculpture perfectly.
It really is an amazing sculpture in my favourite city here in Canada.
Thank you for sharing it with others around the world who have not had the pleasure of visiting Québec City.

Bear((( )))

nina said...

The perspective on the last one makes it look as it tiny people are running between his feet!
Good Q!

Miss_Yves said...

A perfect post for november 11th, a moving tribute to the soldiers.
I love the photograff of the statue and your close-up on the feet, and the posies...