Generally, most of the excitement and amazing images of the Yukon Quest come from the sweeping vistas and mountains while the race is on.
However, as a photographer rushing from checkpoint to checkpoint, you spend a lot of time inside those checkpoints, trying to make things look interesting. The Circle City checkpoint was pretty busy – firetrucks, gear, coats hanging up, picnic tables around, media and volunteers all about.
That in itself can make interesting pictures.
But to take things a little beyond the ordinary, you can use little tricks to do something different.
For instance, in the above photo, Sebastian just arrived and was waiting for some food. Media started asking questions, so I felt I was OK to step in and take some photos.
I didn’t want the usual media frenzy and clutter around him – I wanted to capture more of the feelings that were coming from him – having just endured a huge run from Dawson to Circle City.
I set up a remote flash close to him, 45 degree behind him, camera right. I set the power high, zoomed the flash beam in to just hit his face, and shot. This effectively killed the ambient light on all the clutter around him, with the light from the flash making his expression and features the only focus of the photo.
And sometimes the non-action-oriented shots can prove quite beautiful.
The Yukon Quest is a lot of work for everyone involved. But we all have fun too. Al Hallman, head vet, took to the outdoors to throw some boiling water in the air. We all had a great laugh (or three!) as he tossed it up in the air, letting it turn to snow.
Maybe you’ve seen it on youtube? Let me tell you, it’s still cool to see it happen right in front of you!
So what was life like in Circle City? I didn’t spend long there, but I managed to capture a few slices of life in the coldest place I’ve ever visited.
It was a beautiful but short visit. Can’t say I’ll miss the cold though!