Gold, Er, Cold Prospector
One of the things I really appreciate about photography is that it has always enhanced my avid interest in everything around me. I was wrapping up a week in the Yukon in the first week of September last year, but could not bring myself to put my camera down.
There was just too much to see. Every street, every corner held a chance to shoot another image.
I had just finished a late lunch at Whitehorse and had about ninety minutes to kill before I left for the airport. Rather than sit down and spend a lazy spell, I opted to walk around and photograph as many scenes as I could.
I reckon I shot more than 100 frames in that time. The weather was beautiful, it was a sunny autumn afternoon and I was walking around a car park when this sight caught my eye.
A huge mural was painted on the side of a building. If the first photograph looks like a painting, it’s simply because of the way I’ve framed it. It’s the tightest of the six frames I shot very quickly, and I did that because I wanted the external pipe and the "No Standing" sign to be subtle clues without destroying the surprise.
If you look only at the first frame, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s an oil painting. It’s only when you start running your eye over the other images on this post that you realise how clever the artwork is and how beautifully the artist has incorporated the many irregular surfaces on the building’s façade.
It’s an intriguing piece of giant art, but I have no idea who actually painted it. I could not find a plaque with the artist’s name, but I have to conclude that the project was either organised or endorsed by the authorities of Whitehorse.
For a region that is famous for its gold rush folklore, history and culture, this rendering of a prospector would have to be a fitting tribute to a memorable period of Klondike history.
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