Monday, September 5, 2011

How it Was

On the advice of fellow blogger Mad Jack, here are some photos and commentary on last weeks vegetation fire. The original post can be found here. In it, I lamented about how the conditions were not the best for taking photos, with the smoke inhibiting the the quality of the photos.

As I walked up the road from the clear air into the smoke, I knew that getting quality images would be a challenge. I stopped to snap this while I still was in the clear, in a few moments later I was in the smoke.

When I neared the engine, I looked over to my right and saw these guys stretching a line getting ready to go to to work. Though the smoke wasn't bad from a firefighter's perspective, from a photographer's  point of view it was bad enough.

Even closer shots are affected.

The crew finished making the needed connections and began to disappear into the smoke, I began walking back down the road. A short time later, the wind shifted slightly and I was more or less in the clear again.

 Homeowners tend to get a little excited when the dragon shows up at their back fence. I had chatted with this gentleman earlier and had told him what was going to happen and what to look for.  He and his property came through it just fine. I must also add that he had done a pretty good job keeping the weeds down on his property.  That, as much as anything else, was the main factor in keeping his property safe.

Of course if there are aircraft involved, I will be working to get pictures of that.

 If you look closely, you can see the firefighters in the background mopping up the fire. It was a very short time after this photo was shot that I walked back to my vehicle and went home. These guys were still here, getting it done. It was down to the mid 90's at that point, so I was glad to grab a cold frosty and kick it with the wife. These guys were out there for several more hours, then back to the station for a lengthy clean-up.

I should feel guilty, but I don't!


  1. Fantastic fantastic pictures as always. And I think the smoke adds to it.

  2. Joe, Great photos. I got the idea that the smoke got in the way for you, but for me the smoke was almost the subject. Even knowing that the camera can make it look thicker than it is, it still looks like something I'd rather not breath. And there you all are going to work in it. On purpose.

    If I had to pick a favorite, it's the two men with a hose. And the smoke. There's something artistic (no offense meant) about it that I like.

  3. Thanks for the kind words. I think that the issue for me is that I know how I want the images to look, but sometimes conditions won't allow it to happen.

    For example, the shot where the helicopter was dropping the water came out exactly as I wanted, so I was happier with it. The smoke shots, not so much. I guess I need to learn how to make chicken soup out of chicken manure and get over it!

    Thanks again for the comments!