SSSmokin' ....!

David McMahon

Melbourne, Australia

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Artist's Description

As someone who grew up around ocean-going vessels, I have always been fascinated by nautical subjects. So while travelling in northern Ontario in late September 2005, when I had the chance to take an afternoon cruise aboard one of Canada’s most popular tourist attractions, I jumped at the chance. 181 views on 16 March 2011.

That tourist attraction, of course, was the Gravenhurst, Muskoka-based RMS Segwun which is the oldest operating steamship in North America. It’s not every day you get a chance to travel aboard a 19th-century vessel (the Segwun was built in 1887) so of course I re-adjusted my schedule quickly.

The weather, however, was grey, cloudy and rainy all day. But as I stood in the persistent drizzle, I wanted to take a shot that would capture the smoke billowing from the Segwun’s tall funnel.

All the great images portraying steamships seemed, from memory, to have been taken by observers on land. Could I do it from the deck of the vessel itself? That’s when I realised that the terrible weather was the best possible backdrop for the image I wanted to portray.

This frame was shot just before the vessel docked at Gravenhurst at the end of the afternoon. At the time, I did not realise that many of the scenes I saw that day would find their way into my next novel. Nor did I realise that my trip to Muskoka would help me choose the title for that novel, “Muskoka Maharani”, soon to be released by Penguin.

Finally – can you see the bird in this image?

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot on film using a Canon EOS 3000.

Canada05-Segwun-AAA-017

Artwork Comments

  • Karen E Camilleri
  • David McMahon
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  • Shulie1
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  • Colin  Williams Photography
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  • sfmilner
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  • Daniela Cifarelli
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  • Roy  Massicks
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