Black Forest Fire Sunset – June 2013

This past June saw a number of wildfires all over the West, and Colorado was no slouch, with a number of fires to the North of us, the West, South, and East of us. The closest was the deadly and destructive Black Forest Fire. I did a quick post of it HERE.

For a few days, the smoke from various fires combined along the Front Range and literally changed the sky.

The following photos are shown as shot from my deck. Not modified, not sharpened, not enhanced. The difference between photos is due to where I metered for each one (matrix, local, or spot), and also on the zoom.

Sunset, Smoke and sun,

Sunset, Smoke and sun,We had never seen the sun look like this. For one thing, you could look at it directly, even with binoculars.

Sunset, Smoke and sun,

Sunset, Smoke and sun,

Sunset, Smoke and sun,

I could, and did meter directly on the sun’s disc for a few of the photos where I used my big zoom lens.

Sunset, Smoke and sun, Sunset, Smoke and sun,

That is not something I would ever do in other circumstances; it would likely fry my sensor.

It is difficult to convey the eeriness of the sight. From some primitive part of one’s brain, the thought “Oh crap! We’re done for!” is pushed to the forefront as you look at the unfamiliar sight.

Sunset, Smoke and sun,

. . . and then the rational part takes over . . . “This is cool! How often do I get to see the sun’s disc in such detail with the naked eye?”

And then . . . .

Sunset, Smoke and sun,

I quickly grabbed the tripod, mounted the camera, and started filming.

Once I started filming, I did not touch the camera. The occasional tremors are from the wind rocking the deck and tripod.

Unfortunately, I had left the camera on automatic, so the exposure automatically adjusted on its own. That’s why you see the flashes at various points in the movie, the rapid succession of flashes just before the end of the movie, and the brightening once the sun set. It’s the camera adjusting the exposure to changing lighting conditions.

. . . hence why I’m an amateur and don’t make the big bucks.

The show, however, was not over . . .

Sunset, Smoke and sun,

Also as shot (and slightly out of focus), what the moon looked like later that evening.

At the time of these photos, we had our emergency evacuation plans in place, the cars packed with the important stuff, and were ready to book. It got close (five miles), but we stayed just outside the evacuation zone.

The movie embedded above is sized for the blog. The YouTube HD version is HERE, and the SmugMug album of the photos and video is HERE.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Uncomfortable Chair
Uncomfortable Chair

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