Picnic Tables in a field of Dandelions, Niagara-on-the-Lake: photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
PICNIC TABLES IN A FIELD OF DANDELIONS, NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE: Pastel painted picnic tables dotted a field of thousands of dandelions on a recent weekend visit to Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario, Canada. Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100, Nikkor 18-200 DX zoom lens at 28mm, f20, 125/sec ISO 800.
Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
LONG HOUSE, SAINTE-MARIE AMONG THE HURONS: This attraction near Midland, Ontario, attempts to interpret and share the history of First Nations peoples and their early contact with Europeans– specifically the French Jesuits.
Virtually nothing of the original settlement here remains. Aside from artifacts on display and pieces of two hearths, everything one sees is a recent recreation or re-imagining of what the site was like in the mid 1600s.
There is a small guide given to visitors, who are then encouraged to speak with staff. They are everywhere! Unfortunately, they know very little beyond the obvious. On my visit, after a while I gave up as they were so poorly informed. Given the origin of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, I was most shocked with the lack of knowledge about Catholic faith and practices.
Shot handheld and braced with a Nikon D300, 16-85 DX zoom lens at 48mm, ISO 1000, 1/4 sec., f4.5. Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
NARES LAKE NEAR CARCROSS, YUKON, CANADA: Carcross used to be called Caribou Crossing but over the years was contracted to Carcross. The town, just 45 minutes south of Whitehorse, Yukon and about 90 minutes from Skagway, Alaska.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100 with a Nikkor 18-200mm lens at 18mm, f16, 1/500 sec., ISO 400. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
ON THE HIGHWAY TO ALASKA FROM THE YUKON: It is a beautiful drive from Carcross, Yukon to Skagway, Alaska. Originally, the route was called the Carcross Road and then became part of the Alaska Highway during the Second World War. That highway was developed at a frantic pace in wartime. It has also served the mining industry well, but today is largely used for tourist traffic during the busy summer months. Stop anywhere along the road and you are sure to take in a breathtaking vista.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300 with a Nikkor 10-24mm lens at 12mm, f11 1/500 sec., ISO 500. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
CARIBOU CROSSING, CARCROSS, YUKON, CANADA: For some reason, I like shooting rusted out old vehicles. I’ve always liked classic vehicles from the 40s, 50s and 60s. But the rusty colours in wrecks from those eras hold special appeal. I like the way the browns, oranges and red weave and flow across the dented and broken bodies. This old Ford was especially interesting to me. In addition to the rust, the dents and warps of the twisted front-end make the vertical and horizontal ‘lines’ weirdly attractive.
I found the truck sitting next to the petting zoo at the Caribou Crossing Trading Post just north village of Carcross in the Yukon Territory, Canada. Carcross used to be called Caribou Crossing but over the years was contracted to Carcross. The town, and this cool roadside attraction is found 45 minutes south of Whitehorse, Yukon and about 90 minutes from Skagway, Alaska. Caribou Crossing is worth stopping at. They have a good little museum, gift shop, and restaurant. You can also see sled dogs and even take a ride with a team of dogs. Here’s my TripAdvisor review of Caribou Crossing.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100 with a Nikkor 18-200mm at 24mm, f16 1/50 sec., ISO 400. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
On the Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia Canada, photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
ON THE CABOT TRAIL, CAPE BRETON ISLAND, NOVA SCOTIA: I drove the Cabot Trail on a beautiful fall afternoon and evening. It’s known for its breathtaking coastal scenery and windy roads. The area was long inhabited by the Micmac people before European contact. In 1497 John Cabot’s arrived in Cape Breton, and this led to extensive settlement throughout the region, displacing many First Nation people. The area was primarily accessible only by boat until 1926 when a road was built from Cape North to Cheticamp. Extensions and improvements over the years have helped transform the region into a major tourist attraction. Excellent opportunities for whale-watching, sea kayaking and golf abound in this pretty region of Nova Scotia. There are also plenty of moose, so be careful driving! Click here for more information: Cabot Trail Travel and National Geographic’s Cabot Trail Drive Guide
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300 with a Nikkor 18-200mm lens, f8, 1/200 sec., ISO 1000. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
Orange truck, Yellowknife Mining Museum, Yellowknife, NWT, photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
ORANGE TRUCK, YELLOWKNIFE MINING MUSEUM: For over 70 years, mining has been Yellowknife’s economic base. The industry provides over 50% of the Northwest Territory’s GDP. The town was established in the mid 1930s, became the territorial capital in 1967 and finally incorporated in1970. The Northwest Mining Heritage Society was formed in 2002 with plans to establish a mining museum and resource centre. Currently, much of its collection is found outside, at the Giant Mine Town Site, located 4 km north of Yellowknife on the Ingraham Trail. While the site appears just to be a hodgepodge of old relics, I was fascinated by the collection and what it represents. The area has been a rich source of gold, radium and now diamonds. The society is assembling a huge trove of artefacts to share the rich history of mining in the area.
More information: Northwest Mining Heritage Society
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100 with a Nikkor 18-200mm lens at 18mm, f6.3, 1/125 sec., ISO 1600. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
VIMY RIDGE MEMORIAL, FRANCE: April 9, 2012 is the 95th anniversary of the start of the battle of Vimy Ridge. It was the first time that Canadians would fight together under Canadian command. It is, for many, ‘when Canada became a country’. The Canadians were given an almost impossible task. French and British attempts to take the ridge had failed. In the course of the next six days, 3,598 Canadians would die and another 7,000 were injured. The highest point on the battlefield was Hill 145. That is where Canada’s Vimy Ridge Memorial now stands. In 1922, the French government gave the Hill and its surrounding to territory to Canada, in appreciation for defeating the Germans in one of the pivotal battles of World War One. Every Canadian should visit the Memorial at least once in their lives, in tribute to the terrible losses that day and in recognition of a defining moment in Canada’s history.
Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
BLUE CHAIRS, GREEN GRASS, SOYBEAN FIELD: This shot was taken in southern Ontario on the northern boundary of Durham Region. The field crop behind the chairs is soybeans– a large cash crop in the Province of Ontario where approximately 2 million acres are planted annually. The crop is increasingly grown elsewhere in Canada and enjoys a good export market. For exported beans, the biggest buyer (2006 data) is Japan, followed by Malaysia, the Netherlands and Iran. The beans have many uses. They are grown for specialty foods, oil production and livestock feed. Ever eat those artificial bacon bits? Yummy? Chances are they were made from soybeans. They have industrial uses as well. Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, was an advocate for the use of soy for plastics, paints and fibres. Printing inks are often made from soy and it’s even used as an eco-friendly lubricant and in candles and crayons. Soybeans are also good in biodiesel. Makes me want to sit in one of those blue chairs and dream up another use for this magic bean!
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, AFS 70-300 DX lens at 155mm, 1/320 sec, f18, ISO 1000
Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
RAGGED ASS ROAD: It’s got a ton of character for a such short road! These barrels sit atop a rock outcropping and right next to this grouping is a collection of drills embedded in the stone. Fun fact: There are eleven official languages in the Northwest Territories and five of those are spoken in significant numbers in Yellowknife. They are Dene Suline, Dogrib, South and North Slavey, English, and French. By the way, in the Dogrib language, Yellowknife is called Somba K’e which means: “where the money is.”
Photo illustration by John Ecker | pantheon photography