If you live in the west then you come to know summer as fire season. This was true in Idaho, Colorado, and Utah. It is also true here and over the weekend dry lightening sparked 2 fires at the south end of the Rincon Mountains. The Rincons are part of the Coronado nation Forest and Saguaro National Park, East. I see them every day from my back yard. They are part of the “place” where I now live.
(Distillery Fire photo by Kathie June 23, 2008 @ 5:57 p.m. MST)
Yesterday afternoon the smoke billowing from the Distillery Fire filled the eastern sky. From my house these mountains are 10 to 15 miles away. The houses seen in the foreground are only the length of a football field away. According to the news last night this fire has grown to over 2000 acres but is being allowed to burn since it is not threatening any structures. It is being treated as a controlled burn that will help prevent more serious fires in the future. The Cumero Fire, farther east in Happy Valley is being contained since there are homes in that area.
Last night I experimented with the night photo button on my camera and took these shots of the flames creeping down the slopes in an ever widening ring of fire. At first I hand held the camera but that resulted in blurry edges to the flames. So, I set the camera on the stone cap of a pillar in the block wall and took the photo again. This is the resulting photo which I have sharpened but that’s it.
Shooting Data for night photo taken by Kathie:
(Nikon D802008/06/23 22:25:39.9JPEG (8-bit) NormalImage Size: Large (3872 x 2592)ColorLens: VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 GFocal Length: 300mmDigital Vari-Program: Night LandscapeMetering Mode: Multi-Pattern4 sec - F/5.6Exposure Comp.: 0 EV)
This morning when I woke up the air was flat with smoky haze that I could smell as I watered my plants and filled the bird baths. Look at all three photos to see the roof lines of the houses and make a comparison.
(Rincon Haze by Kathie June 24, 2008 @ 8:40 a.m. MST)
You will notice a dark spot on the image. That is a dust spot that is on my camera optics that I have not been able to remove. It is inside the camera and not the individual lenses since it shows up whether I am using the 18-70mm lens or the 70 -300 mm lens. Any suggestions anyone? I have wiped the mirror and top of the optics with a soft lens cloth to no avail. I certainly don’t want to damage my new camera but it is so frustrating to have this spot ruining my photos.
Update: As of noontime today the Distillery Fire has grown to over 4,000 acres. An attempt is being made to fight and contain the fire.