View Full Version : Shots from the North

MJ Preston
February 17th, 2012, 04:00 PM
Hello WF members and friends. Time is very limited as I pull long hours re-supplying the diamond mines in the Northwest Territories. I have had an opportunity to catch some great stills as we run north across the ice and thought I would share a few.

Above: Raven flies around truck looking for handout.


I took this shot at Lockhart Lake after we were stranded on the ice while crews worked to repair the roads.


Bridge over the McKenzie River


Ice Road in daytime


Fuel truck runs North across the horizon

That's all for now. Got another 16 hour day ahead, but I'll update this thread with new pics as time allows.

All the best!

February 17th, 2012, 05:09 PM
These are gorgeous shots, Mark! Thanks for sharing! Glad to see you're still truckin', too. Stay safe. :)

February 18th, 2012, 03:23 PM
Simply stunning, Mark! I echo Foxee, please stay safe. :)

Gardening Girl
February 18th, 2012, 03:50 PM
I enjoy your photography and these are fabulous shots too. How awesome that you are an ice road trucker. I used to watch a television programme about ice road truckers which I found captivating and terrifying at the same time. That programme opened up a whole new world that I never knew existed previously. It’s wonderful to get an insight into that world, so thanks for sharing.

February 21st, 2012, 12:44 PM
Love those MJ.

MJ Preston
February 22nd, 2012, 11:33 PM
This is my new Pal "Jackanoob." He visits me on every trip now. If you read my book you'll understand why I called him Jackanoob, if you haven't then you'll have something to consider.


http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/401556_10150560773337181_632367180_9516795_1205619 199_n.jpg

February 23rd, 2012, 01:52 AM
That bird has got to be unsettling after what you've written. :p

MJ Preston
February 29th, 2012, 02:07 AM
More shots from the North.

Night shot taken on a portage between lakes. Came out looking more like a martian landscape.


Same portage taken same night.


I call this one solitude


The road to nowhere

MJ Preston
February 29th, 2012, 02:19 AM

February 29th, 2012, 03:21 AM
Incredible shots, I love these.

candid petunia
February 29th, 2012, 10:22 AM
They're beautiful. :)

March 2nd, 2012, 03:50 PM
Great night shots too.

MJ Preston
March 2nd, 2012, 05:13 PM
A couple more before bed. My truck broke down a few days ago and I had to fly back to Yellowknife. This time I trekked North to retrieve a trailer that was left behind. Without my tripod I was able to capture these shots.

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/417081_10150575434637181_632367180_9569950_6214197 88_n.jpg

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/418103_10150575433582181_632367180_9569947_2957549 71_n.jpg

http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/428600_10150575432387181_632367180_9569942_3278595 26_n.jpg

March 3rd, 2012, 04:08 AM
Truly Spectacular. You have a great eye.

March 3rd, 2012, 04:54 AM
How about some of these for Motley Press? You really do have a great eye.

MJ Preston
March 9th, 2012, 02:21 AM
How about some of these for Motley Press? You really do have a great eye.

I spoke to Rob about that before I left and you guys are welcome to use whatever you like for Motley.

Now I have to get to sleep. :welcome:

March 9th, 2012, 12:20 PM
Very vivid imagery. Great work!

Loved the aurora borealis at the end.

MJ Preston
March 26th, 2012, 10:42 AM
A few more shots from the North

This one was taken during a white out on one of the portages that stranded us for 19 hours.


Taken leaving the mine we were held up after a vehicle had to be recovered from the aptly named "Misery Rd."


Oversize heading north. From afar this Goliath moves with majestic grace.


Facing the sleeping giant. The sheer size of some equipment leaves one in awe. Yes that's me.


MJ Preston
April 1st, 2012, 02:27 PM
Heading back home. I;m actually not far from where I based the story in my book.

Heres a few more pics.

This is the Misery Mine (Diamonds)


Across the ice



April 3rd, 2012, 06:23 PM
Fantastic! I'm really... wow! Great stuff!

May 29th, 2012, 05:19 AM
I apologize if you've already answered this question, but do you enhance or photoshop these photographs in any way?

June 15th, 2012, 04:59 PM
The last one is my favorite. The composition is crisp and in perfect contrast. Great work.

August 17th, 2012, 03:45 PM
Hey MJ, was this the earlier thread you were looking for?

More great images: van, have we used these (or the later ones in the other thread) in Motley yet?

MJ Preston
September 23rd, 2012, 01:33 PM
Too bad that I didn't have these when the Bridge Theme was all abound.

This is the McKenzie River in NWT taken by me a few weeks ago.




September 25th, 2012, 04:19 PM
I absolutely love your use of the trucks. They are lovely - especially in the snow.

September 25th, 2012, 04:28 PM
Too bad that I didn't have these when the Bridge Theme was all abound.
That was a while ago ... ah well, better late than never, right?

Of course, what goes around comes around, and bridges could come back as theme...

September 25th, 2012, 08:17 PM
Of all your pics, the ones with crisp, blue-to-white compositions are my favourites, like the very last one you've posted here with the bridge. I said it before, but I still think you'd be awesome as a designer for book covers.

MJ Preston
September 29th, 2012, 01:45 AM

(Above) Approximately 100 km below the Arctic Circle. Taken in January of 2012

(Below) Taken at the Airstrip that serves the Ekati Diamond Mine in the North West Territories. Taken in January of 2012. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8301/7809907382_6e73342e0f_b.jpg

September 29th, 2012, 02:07 AM
I am relatively new to the WF but I have to comment upon these ghostly, haunting, riveting photographs. Startling in their simplicity, the implication of layer upon layer of experience beckons. A great eye. Beautiful perception.

MJ Preston
September 29th, 2012, 02:11 PM
Of all your pics, the ones with crisp, blue-to-white compositions are my favourites, like the very last one you've posted here with the bridge. I said it before, but I still think you'd be awesome as a designer for book covers.

I've done a book cover or two for my own novel on the left and on the right is my latest endeavor for my up coming novel Acadia Event.

MJ Preston
October 2nd, 2012, 01:31 PM
This was a long exposure I took on my solo trek North to retrieve a set of trailers I had to abandon after a breakdown. The spotlight you see in the sky is actually the sickle moon overexposed. It was an eerie feeling sitting alone on a portage.http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/132885_449637741753965_1984758179_o.jpg

October 2nd, 2012, 04:29 PM
Looks like something for the remake/sequel of Close Encounters - nice shot.

October 2nd, 2012, 09:05 PM
Lovely photos, and brrr! I used to drive a cargo van for a couple of years expediting freight. It was a lonely, stressful profession and I ended up having bad anxiety and panic attacks afterward. I still have anxiety but not nearly as bad as just before I gave up driving. I felt as if I would pass out behind the wheel so I had to quit. The money was pretty good, and I liked seeing different parts of the country, but it just wasn't worth it anymore.

October 3rd, 2012, 11:14 AM
Incredible images. Some are breathtaking.

Thank you for sharing, MJ.

MJ Preston
November 23rd, 2012, 07:49 AM
Here is a shot I took the other night of the Mackenzie Ferry that has been struggling through ice and low water levels. Departing the Ferry is Super B train Tankers similar to the one I drive.

November 23rd, 2012, 02:33 PM
Love the pics. especially the sparkling headlight shots.

Bilston Blue
November 23rd, 2012, 03:10 PM
Some great photography here, MJ. Wonderful. I've seen a couple of the shows we have over here about the ice road truckers. Part of me would love to have a trip out there, the other part wouldn't be man enough.

MJ Preston
February 11th, 2013, 06:18 AM




February 11th, 2013, 01:52 PM
Awesome shots, as always! How did you get that red cast to those last two shots?

February 11th, 2013, 03:46 PM
Very nice. I especially like the aurora.

MJ Preston
February 11th, 2013, 07:54 PM
Awesome shots, as always! How did you get that red cast to those last two shots?

It`s a reflection from my truck lights.

February 15th, 2013, 10:47 AM
Your pics always make envious of those who get to see the Northern Lights. Do you ever get tired of seeing them?

February 15th, 2013, 11:03 AM
The first photo in post 8 is unbelievable.

The bridge over the mckenzie river is amazing.

keep on clicking!

MJ Preston
February 16th, 2013, 06:19 AM
Your pics always make envious of those who get to see the Northern Lights. Do you ever get tired of seeing them?

No I am always in awe.

February 16th, 2013, 06:32 AM
They're very nice. I like them but all that snow! Yuk. I bet you'd feel the same way about pictures of a saguaro in a haboob:

MJ Preston
March 3rd, 2013, 09:39 PM
Time to share some new photos then head to bed as I'm up at 2200 Hours to go North again.





March 5th, 2013, 09:44 AM
#4 is now my desktop ...thx MJ...:cheers:

March 5th, 2013, 02:01 PM
Stunning, as always! :)

March 5th, 2013, 10:31 PM
Your shots, make me really want to visit the north. It looks beautiful up there.

March 5th, 2013, 11:13 PM
Very beautiful.

MJ Preston
March 19th, 2013, 04:23 AM





March 19th, 2013, 07:47 AM
What makes the polar regions eerie to someone who's never been there are these times when both the stars and the landscape are clearly visible. Great shots, MJ.

March 19th, 2013, 10:24 AM
Hey Admiral...I've got itchy passport syndrome again....Alaska instead of Tassie - huh? huh?

MJ, I'd love to be a hitch hiker on your ice highway...to see what you see.... yet you show us your sights and therefore bring us into your world
The mark of a damn good artist

With each set of shots you show us another part of a world which most of us will never see
The first one is a stunning...colour balances are excellent..yep, new desktop

MJ Preston
March 20th, 2013, 03:26 AM


March 20th, 2013, 08:03 AM
Hey Admiral...I've got itchy passport syndrome again....Alaska instead of Tassie - huh? huh?

<gives Dunluchyn that "I'll deal with you later" look, wraps quilt around body, and takes deep slug of blood-warming drink>

Oh yes; these are very good - excellent catch of the bird.

March 20th, 2013, 10:06 AM
Humpft dearest Admiral...:dejection:

MJ that bird is brilliant. Yep - another new desktop - is this now your daily challenge? Find me new desktops?

Do tell, were your hands on the wheel when you took the pic?
( Here asks the Safety Manager inside of me)

March 26th, 2013, 10:28 PM
Pic 2 and the Martian Landscape have great contrast. Some good work with those.

March 26th, 2013, 10:29 PM
I apologize if you posted it already, but what kind of equipment setup are you using? How about editing software?

March 26th, 2013, 11:22 PM
Awesome pictures!

MJ Preston
April 3rd, 2013, 05:03 PM
I apologize if you posted it already, but what kind of equipment setup are you using? How about editing software?

I'm shooting with an Canon Rebel T3, Rocketfish Tripod and I use Corel PSP X4

MJ Preston
April 7th, 2013, 04:01 PM
A few more

Arctic Nightscape [Portage 46] temperature was around -39 Celcius

A tad over-exposed almost makes the rigs look as though they are radioactive

Shot at Portage 46

April 8th, 2013, 02:15 AM
More great images, MJ. I gather that's the Moon looking like a dim Sun?

On a quiet plain, the nuclear-powered Autonomous Transport (Overland) Mek-bots, or Atoms as they are commonly called, gathered to plan their strike for freedom...

MJ Preston
May 9th, 2013, 05:01 AM
A Final Farewell to The Merv Hardie who served the people of the north for many years, taking locals across the mighty MacKenzie and bringing Big truck North to meet the navigate the worlds longest iceroad:Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter road. Though she had a man's name I have never been able to think of any water vessel as a man. She was a pleasant ride, running against the currents, in the face of ice flows and low water levels. She worked in the shadow of her successor, quiet and unassuming, but always faithful. It was my pleasure to ride across that great river on this magnificent boat who now sadly sits aground waiting to serve somewhere else. She shall be sorrowfully missed.


Here are a few more pics of the sweet boat.

In fall she works in the shadow of her successor.

Due to Ice Jams the Mackenzie dropped her last passenger (A Super B Train Tanker) before navigating back across the MacKenzie in low water levels.


In the early morning 9 hours later with water kevels rising she returns.

One of the last rides upon her. A night crossing.


May 13th, 2013, 09:17 PM
Awesome pictures! Really love the 'Road to nowhere' and the one below it, and many more. Thanks so much for posting them up. Inspirational :)

May 17th, 2013, 10:33 PM
Preston... I have to say I enjoy the cold (violent) feeling of your writing more then the desolate feeling of your photos. Someone get me a coat, I'm freezing.
Seriously tho these are pretty cool. The truck exhaust photo is bad ass. Nasty frigid tundra of damnation.

MJ Preston
May 24th, 2013, 06:53 AM
Working in Alberta now. Spring has sprung, but I still caught this sweet night sky on the infamous Highway of Death. aka 'Suicide 63'


Field work in Saskatchewan


Joe J. Calkins
May 30th, 2013, 02:52 AM
Wow! Great stuff! I especially love the Lockhart Lake shot!

June 15th, 2013, 01:19 PM
MJ...that last pic is SO evil...composition is great and the dark sunnies add to the atmosphere of 'something is going to happen'....
then to camera left if drifts to an empty area where you KNOW evil is lurking...
Heck, there's almost a novel in one pic..get writing man!

June 15th, 2013, 03:46 PM
Your pictures are just awesome, MJ.

June 15th, 2013, 04:01 PM
some fine pictures.

August 12th, 2013, 06:01 AM
I love the diversity of the photos--they all have a common theme but show different sides of each.

MJ Preston
August 23rd, 2013, 07:48 PM
I'm back up in in the North West Territories training guys at the Ice Road tank Farm. Last night I was able to steal away and capture some shots. Here's a couple.


Above and below taken at: The abandon Giant Mine

I call the one below Emerald Rust


MJ Preston
August 24th, 2013, 05:18 AM


August 24th, 2013, 05:23 AM
Good job, get some shots of polar bear and penguins!

MJ Preston
August 24th, 2013, 05:38 AM

MJ Preston
August 24th, 2013, 05:39 AM
Good job, get some shots of polar bear and penguins!

There are no polar bears or penguins in the NWT

August 24th, 2013, 05:40 AM
What is the most common type of wild life? Black bears? Any types of large cats? Mountain lions?

MJ Preston
August 24th, 2013, 05:59 AM
Lynx, Buffalo, Barren Grizzly, Black Bear, Coyote, Wolf, Wolverine, Ravens, Jack Rabbit, Windigo and Skinwalker; and

Very soon (once my new novel is done) two variety of Skentophyte


August 24th, 2013, 06:03 AM
Oh man some pictures of wolverines would sweet, just don't get eaten. :D

Those are some mean looking dudes. It's going to be interesting to see how you introduce them.

MJ Preston
August 24th, 2013, 04:44 PM
No luck on the wolverines yet. They are pretty elusive.

MJ Preston
September 20th, 2013, 07:38 AM
Heading home for good, these will be my last few shots of the Northern lights.




September 20th, 2013, 07:54 AM
I love all your photos. There is something extra magical about these last three pictures. The Northern lights - that I'd love to witness.

MJ Preston
November 30th, 2013, 03:21 AM