Shooting the Yukon Quest 2011: Circle City pt.1

Dallas Seavey arrives in Circle City

Dallas Seavey arrives in Circle City, Yukon Quest 2011

It was cold. Somewhere near -50, if I remember correctly. A few of us were getting antsy, and knew Dallas would be arriving shortly, thanks to GPS tracking devices.

It’s always a bit of a gamble to head out too early. At -50, your body, your camera, and your lenses will all hate you if you head out too early. Nobody wants to spend an hour outside at those temperatures. (though you have to wonder – how do those mushers do it?)

And if you head out too late – you’ll miss the shot. 

Luckily, the vantage point for this shot was pretty close to the checkpoint, which was well-heated. A few of us headed down to the shore to watch and wait.

Justin (Kennedy) headed on down the trail, much farther than the rest of us dared to venture.

After a while, the morning light turned amazing, and the faint sound of sled grinding across crisp snow came from the distance.

We knew he was almost here.

Everyone set up their cameras (me, I hauled my batter out of my pocket and held it in the palms of my hands tightly, to keep it warm.) When I thought he was about to pop into sight, I quickly popped the battery into my camera, and shot a quick test shot. Amazing light.

Then, there he was! I exposed to capture the amazing light, and render Dallas as a bit of a silhouette. I got a few frames before he was out of range, and quickly ran back to another vantage point to capture a few more frames before he got to the checkpoint.

Dallas Seavey arrives in Circle City

Dallas Seavey arrives in Circle City, Yukon Quest 2011

Justine was behind me yelling “Get down Rick!”. I was in her shot…

So I jumped down into the deep snow (getting out of her way just in time) and snapped two shots as Dallas crossed right in front of me.

Just like that, he was gone, and on to the Checkpoint. Time to head back and see what interesting shots I could get inside the fire hall that was the checkpoint.

More to come…

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