I think everyone has, or knows of, one of these iconic ‘lone trees’. My friends and family will certainly be familiar with this one, which stands on the top of a hill at Elgin Mills and McCowan Road in Markham, Ontario, across from the Markham Fairgrounds. I have seen many photos of this beautiful maple tree and it’s not so perfect twin.
On this particular day in mid-December 2014, a storm was clearing, leaving fragments of cloud drifting quickly in the sky. The sun was setting in the most beautiful yellow and gold tones, which eventually turned deep orange and red.
In this photo, I was struck by the bright golden band just at ground level and how sharp the shadows of the weeds were, as well as the way the small clouds glowed yellow against the darker background clouds. It was just one of those moments where everything comes together and you get ‘the magic’.
Another funny aspect of this moment is that this is also popular spot for the police to set up radar traps. I think I freaked the cop out a bit when I pulled up next to him and started taking photos of the tree, but his cruiser was in one of the pull-outs that offers a good angle to photograph the tree. Generally, the shoulders along this stretch of road are too narrow to pull over safely. In the end, he did not seem to mind too much, because he was still able to pull over a driver who was speeding past.
Nikor 70-300 f/5.6 at 170mm
160 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 200