Friday, March 06, 2009

An Uphill Task

Pedal To The Metal

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Like any photographer, I was awake very early in Haines Junction when I was in the Yukon in August-September last year. I always find that the soft light just before and after dawn and similarly at dusk is great for photographs with any lens. More to the point, you often get unusual glimpses of any setting at these times, before normal routines take hold.

This was my second trip to the beautiful town surrounded by mountains and, just as it enthralled me the first time, I still got a kick out of walking beside the historic Alaska Highway, shooting a variety of scenes as I walked.

Something made me look across the highway and I spotted this cyclist and I knew it was one of those poetically rare scenes that had to be captured immediately. He was a long way away from me, but I had two cameras around my neck, a Pentax K100D with my 18-125mm lens and a Pentax K200D with my 70-300mm lens.

I grabbed the latter and waited a few seconds until the cyclist was closer to the bend and more in line with the mountain. I was too far away to find out who the cyclist was or where he was going – but I just hope he wasn’t going all the way to the summit.

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30 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Wow! what a stunning shot!! Really beautiful place!

skywind said...

Any classic, moving pictures are at that moment of inspiration, and created an instant glance.

Health is the Greatest Happiness & The World at The Present

TheWritersPorch said...

That place is breath taking and you captured it perfectly!
Carol

Carolyn said...

What a wonderful photo of one of my favourite parts of the world.
Thank you for sharing.
Smiles :}

Lew said...

Fantastic perspective of the biker and the mountain! Also great shots of the the lake and mountain in the yukon post. By the way there is an extr "%20" in the link on POD for Menopausal Old Bag with Legs Akimbo

Michelle said...

What, I have to get up early to get good pictures? :) Nice shot. Makes me wonder who the man is.

Suzanne said...

What a wonderful take on the scenery. Happy SWF.

Sara G said...

AWESOME photo, David. I just love it.

Chris said...

A terrific snapshot of life!

I love my 70-300mm zooms!

M said...

Looks like me on my way to work...except I have baskets to carry my stuff...and of course there are no mountains...and I am not in Alaska...but there is one huge hill. Great pic!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I hope he wasn't too, because you can already feel the effort he's making, thanks to your wonderful timing.

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

Beautiful shot! Everyone has a story and I like how you kinda told one side of his.

introspection said...

You waited for the perfect moment. The cycle/cyclist is at right angles to upslope of the road, forming a colourful silhuette while the mountains form a panoramic backdrop.

A central red spot (cyclist's red top) enhances the natural beauty of the surrowndings.
It's poetry woven into photography..!!

Artist Unplugged said...

Beautiful photo, isn't it great the cyclist is weaing red!

Shellie said...

I love those times of day too. A beautiful shot!

Linnea W said...

Oh...what a scene! I'd love to be there - walking, photographing, or riding my bike to the top of that mountain. Thanks for sharing this...

Debbie in CA : ) said...

As always, your eye (and the timing therein) leaves me speechless . . .

[*sigh*]

Merisi said...

Well,
if it was my brother,
he would have made the summit!
(He's been up to Austria's highest mountain, almost 12,439 feet - 3,800 meters. He says the toughest part was riding down again.)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

A beautiful picture, very romantic in its appearance. I would love that cyclist to come forward!!

CJ xx

Nessa said...

You go to some amazing places.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Gorgeous! It must be an incredible feeling to get to tour the entire world. Thanks for sharing it with us...

Sheila :-)

Kimber said...

That is a beautiful place. I've never seen mountains before. Well definitely in photos, but not in person.

Mojo said...

That's why they're called the "Golden Hours". Actually I guess that's more about the light itself, but your point about the daily grind not yet underway at sunrise is one well made.

I think even the most robust cyclist would be hard put to reach the summit there. I'm not sure what the elevation is, but at 10,000 feet fighter pilots (being in necessarily unpressurized cabins) have to go on oxygen to avoid hypoxia. I know the highest peaks in the Grand Tetons are well over 11,000 feet, and I'm guessing these aren't any lower than those so I'd say oxygen debt alone would be enough to keep him from making it all the way up that hill. Not to mention there's probably not much of a roadway above a certain point to ride on!

katherine. said...

this guy has a cold ride in front of him...

like any photographer ahhhh
I am awake very early...but not out and about all dressed with my camera.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Oh that is so LOVELY and serene David!

Susie said...

What a beautiful picture. I can only hope that someday I see something as spectacular as that!

richies said...

The cyclist makes the beautiful scenic photo even more interesting

An Arkies Musings

Pouty Lips said...

It was great the cyclist came by just at the right time. If he was going to the summit, I hope he packed a lunch.

Maggie May said...

The cyclist in the bright red seems to set off this great picture. I reckon he is just in the right place.

I watched Billy Conolly the other night on TV. He is travelling through Canada and he was going through the Yukon in this weeks programme.
I knew it was a beautiful place because of your photos but I hadn't realized just how isolated the Yukon is and I was expecting that grizzly bear to pounce out at any minute, but it didn't.
Billy went through the gold mining area and met some really interesting characters and all the Inuit people were so friendly and happy.
It is the turn of British Columbia next week! Wonderful programme.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

You always seem to be in the right place at just the right time!