At the historic Diamond Tooth Gertie’s in Dawson City in the gold rush Klondike region of the Yukon, I found myself at the back of the hall during the floor show on 29 August 2008. (1.051 views on 9 November 2013.)

It was the only time in my whole week in the Yukon that I left my second camera in my hotel room, with my 70-300mm lens. Because I’d never been to Gertie’s before, I just assumed that one camera, with my favourite 18-125mm lens, would be sufficient.

I was wrong. I was SO wrong. But when this segment of the floor show began, with each dancer using long, broad ribbons, I had to pick up my camera and do my best. (By the way, I have never used a tripod in my life!)

I do not crop or post-edit my work in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, with a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F4.5, 1/20 sec, ISO 800, focal length 58mm.

Featured in MOVEMENT: MOTION BLUR, May 2009.

Featured in BLACK WITH A HINT OF COLOR, August 2009.

Featured in SPEAKING PHOTOS, August 2009.

Featured in ANYTHING THEATRICAL, September 2009.

Top 10 in UNTOUCHED challenge, June 2010.

Featured in UNTOUCHED, June 2010.

Top 10, CANDID AROUND THE WORLD Challenge, June 2010.

Featured in IF IT DOESN’T BELONG, July 2010.

Featured in IF IT MOVES, SHOOT IT, December 2010.

Featured in LOW LIGHT, DARK BACKGROUND, March 2011.

Featured in DANCE PHOTOGRAPHY, May 2011.



theatre, stage, dancers, theatrical, yukon, dawson city, diamond tooth gerties, gertie dancing, david mcmahon

Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

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  • LorenaLo
    LorenaLoover 5 years ago

    Oh yes you was so wrong!!! David you have done a fantastic job, it’s a beautiful shot !! … these women look so gorgeous in those beautiful red dresses, many congrats!!

  • David McMahon
    David McMahonover 5 years ago

    Thank you, Lorena – you are so quick. I only just uploaded that shot. The floor show at Gertie’s was really something to behold.

  • gracestout2007
    gracestout2007over 5 years ago

    Fantastic colors. Love the the gestures of the dancers. Great action shot.

  • Thank you, Grace. I must go back again one day!

    – David McMahon

  • Kate Purdy
    Kate Purdyover 5 years ago

    Beautiful movement!

  • Thank you, Kate. I think we start to REALLY appreciate the speed of this sort of on-stage motion more in the role of photographer, rather than the role of onlooker!

    – David McMahon

  • Enivea
    Eniveaover 5 years ago

    A memorable moment well captured David, despite your perceived hindrances.

  • Thanks very much, Enivea. It was an evening to remember.

    – David McMahon

  • Gail Bridger
    Gail Bridgerover 5 years ago

    Gorgeous shot….David!!

  • Thank you, Gail. I’m glad you like the shot.

    – David McMahon

  • Antonia Diewold
    Antonia Diewoldover 5 years ago

    Wicked Motion blur!

  • Thanks, Toniaa – they were very quick, not just in this routine, but in some of the others as well. It’s a great show.

    – David McMahon

  • mochilady
    mochiladyover 5 years ago

    Great action shot!

  • Thank you very much. I was about halfway back, down the hall – but I reckon it might have worked in my favour. I cannot explain how FAST these dancers were!

    – David McMahon

  • Atheum
    Atheumover 5 years ago

    Cool, and this is a great capture, anyway.

  • Thank you very much. That place, Dawson City, is a major inspiration point in my life and work.

    – David McMahon

  • Steve plowman
    Steve plowmanabout 5 years ago

    Wonderful image, love the vibrancy of the reds, beautiful.

  • Thank you very much, Steve. Believe me when I say even this shot, does not do justice to the speed at which these dancers perform. This frame is my tribute to the rich history of the gold rush town.

    – David McMahon

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