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Thread: Shooting in burn areas

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    North Dakota
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    973

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    "PS -- this is a single transfer carbon print...the image is reversed for those familiar with the face of El Cap."

    Does that mean the Climbers are now going up backwards, or coming down instead of up?
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
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    14,579

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    I greatly simplified the technique for making a carbonized print. I have a little toaster oven for drying test strips. Anything longer than 20 sec yields a wonderful DMax replete with authentic smoke. The image even has relief. I'm relieved that I smelled it and didn't burn down the room.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    SooooCal/LA USA
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    2,077

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    I've shot in burn areas after the Station fire in LA a decade ago.... The biggest problem I found was ash tends to look defined visually, but on film usually looks OOF due to its ultrafine nature...

    Other big problems include keeping everything clean with all that dust around, still wild animals trying to get away from zone acting crazy, no place to sit down or place gear on ground, and an irritant to eyes and sinuses...

    Spent a week shooting, and not much to show for it, but maybe can try scanning 100's of 35mm B/W negs for possible improvement... Extreme contrasts due to burnt black ash on standing trees that well exceed contrast range of film...

    One amusing experience was entering an open valley that as far as my eyes could see was a lunar landscape devoid of any features except the ash contours of the landscape... My boots sent up spectral clouds of ash that looked like halos and rainbows, couldn't touch my face to wipe off sweat due to dust, and with a backpack of gear felt like an astronaut walking the moon...

    Interesting experience??? Yes...
    Would I do it again??? Not sure!!!

    The digital snaps I shot seem to render the scenes a little better than the hi-res 35mm B/W I was shooting... I think LF would have been a wash - out IMHO...

    Steve K

  4. #14
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Noosa, Australia.
    Posts
    1,089

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    A fresh burn can be dirty, dusty, and nasty but a year later some of the larger pieces of charred trees are still standing and can be searched for under more pleasant circumstances. Here is an example:


    Roadside Forms, Flinders Ranges
    Gelatin-silver photograph on Agfa Classis MCC III VC FB photographic paper, image size 24.4cm X 19.4cm,
    from a 4x5 Tmax 100 negative exposed in a Tachihara 45GF field view camera fitted with a Voigtlander Heliar 21cm f4.5 lens.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Buford, GA
    Posts
    13,469

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    I did fire photography shots for a fire department in Darien, CT as well for both the local police and local papers.

    One day a Buick was having serviced at the Shell station backfired while being serviced and somehow ignited a container of gasoline that, for some reason, was stored by the lift. The whole station went up and I got some glorious shots of containers and car parts shooting overhead!
    The owner of the car had just finished her Xmas shopping and all the gifts were in the carís trunk. She was having her hair done in a beauty salon and watched the whole thing without knowing it was her car on fire.

    Another time a local resident donated an old barn to the fire department to burn down for practice. The Fire Chief called ne in the morning to tell me that they would torch the barn at 8 PM so I could plan to be there. After I closed the studio I went home to eat and my wife and kids wanted to watch a TV show together at 8. I told them during dinner that there would be a barn fire that I had to go to at 8. This really baffled my son as I told them at 7.
    Just at 8 the Plectron sounded announcing the fire location. That left my son in awe as he was convinced I could predict the future! I never debased him of that idea.
    At the fire they had the barn roaring and were driving a loaded pumper across the lawn to get a better position. But this created a horrible smell as the pumper fell into the septic tank!

    Took hours to get that truck out of that hole and then close the hole so we could breath again.

    Then there was the day the local Peabody wharehouse, full of coal, burned down an i was hired to shoot the interior for insurance. No power, no lights, soot an ankle deep. What a job that was!

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Canmore Alberta
    Posts
    568

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    John, Hiking/ski poles would most definitely help. They do make a difference in that they help you maintain balance over your feet, no matter howgood your footwear.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    196

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    Just a note, if you go into burn areas where there are standing dead or damaged trees, watch your head. To my amateur knowledge, tree fall becomes a significant hazard a few years (some sources say 3-5 years) after major fire damage. Ground cover may have recovered to some extent yet tree fall can be ongoing.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    9,093

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    Quote Originally Posted by reddesert View Post
    Just a note, if you go into burn areas where there are standing dead or damaged trees, watch your head. To my amateur knowledge, tree fall becomes a significant hazard a few years (some sources say 3-5 years) after major fire damage. Ground cover may have recovered to some extent yet tree fall can be ongoing.
    That's why I've avoided burns in the past.
    Of course after the past two fire seasons it seems like there's more burns than forest!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #19
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    14,579

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    You do know that the second largest Ponderosa pine forest in the world hasn't burned yet, and it's right up the River from you spanning all the way from Meadow Lakes to the Silver Divide, and 90% are already beetle killed. So if you can't get to a fire, it might come closer to you than you'd wish. Insurance companies are cancelling fire policies all over the hills.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    La Luz del Oeste, Albuquerque NM
    Posts
    535

    Re: Shooting in burn areas

    trekking poles. Obligatory.
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

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