All Dressed up and No Place to Photo

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by danac, Jun 24, 2021.

  1. Since 1976 my photo hobby has almost exclusively involved landscapes on black and white film. Living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for thirty-eight years has made that a no brainer. I do my own processing. Deb and I planned to take some photo trips this Summer including Creede, Colorado with it's Wagon Gap and nearby spectacular waterfalls. Another trip was going to be the Black Hills of South Dakota with it's scenic Needles Highway and Badlands N.P..

    Those plans will have to be scrapped. It's only mid-June and already the smoke from fifty wildfires here in the West has filled the sky with thick haze. My yellow filters won't even scratch the surface. Fire season has never come this early in the year. I've never been good at people or city photographs. So here I am sitting next to three beautiful Canon and one Pentax SLR that won't get much or any use for the foreseeable future. Sometimes life's just not fair.

    My heart truly goes out to those who will lose their homes this year. Last year we could see flames from two huge fires by just stepping out the front door.
    cameragary, michaellinder and Sanford like this.
  2. You might try the Pacific coast in OR or WA. Makes for more travel, but they won't be as impacted by the smoke, at least right on the coast proper. Anywhere inland is going to be very hazy for the duration.
    cameragary, michaellinder and danac like this.
  3. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I live in fire country as well. In past years worked Wildfires on the local VFD, no fun, and deep sympathy for losses. There is always something to photograph, and wherever you live, it is as roseanne roseannadanna said "always something". Fires, Floods, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, marauding insects, mob violence, etc. Just Stay Calm and Carry on! Be of good spirit!
  4. I agree with David that the coast of Washington and Oregon give you the best chance for avoiding fire haze. Here in Southern California, Santa Barbara county, living a mile from the coast, we've often seen the sky get thick with smoke and ash. In the last few years, friends have lost homes and we've been 500 feet from having to evacuate. Worst of all, fires left the hillsides bare, and helped bring about devastating mud flows when we finally got rain that killed 23 local residents. We keep track of where our documents, photos and backups are, what the sky looks like, and the gas gauges on our cars.
    cameragary and danac like this.
  5. Use that light. In 2009 there was a fire 40 miles away in Santa Cruz County covering everything in a golden hue. Big forrest fires have become a yearly event in CA, we now have the Willow Fire burning in southern Monterey County.
    Monterey 09_Concours Week_2_Russo & Steele Auction Preview.jpg
  6. It goes far afield as well. Last year the smoke from west coast US fires covered our skies for much of August and September here in Vancouver. In September we drove to northern Alberta (about 12 hours away) and this is what it looked like in Jasper Park, over 500 miles north of the US border. Keep in mind that because of a very wet June and July we had almost no fires in western Canada, so it was all borrowed smoke. I lived in California long enough to realize how disruptive and downright frightening it is to be able to see the flames of a big fire from your window and wonder when it was your turn. I can't imagine what many of these people are going through.

    2020 Alberta - Jasper - Moose Lake - fire smoke IMG_5890small.JPG
  7. I wholeheartedly agree with others: use the smoke to your advantage, same as you would any other weather or atmospheric phenomenon. if big, grand views aren't working, maybe you can dial it down and diminish your field of view? Just saying there are undoubtedly still options for you; don't be defeatist about things you cannot change.
    Stay positive.
    Go forth and shoot- but stay safe in doing so.
    cameragary likes this.
  8. I was just talking to a friend in Portland, yesterday and he said right now the wind is blowing the smoke away from them. But everything is so dry now in the west it seems obvious these fire cycles are much more intense and frequent then when I took this particular picture in So Cal. We were used to occasional big fires, but it has obvious gone into a new cycle.
    David_Cavan likes this.

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