The Agile Fox Friday Foto – 09.21.2012
After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to let it stand as a post of its own. I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week. No recycling. I am doing this to keep me engaged in building my photography skills, and to make me work harder to get fresh shots. Click here to see my previous Friday Foto posts.
The 2012 wildfire season will likely break the 2006 record of 9.8 million acres burned, with 8.4 million scorched so far and no signs of letting up. That is an area equivalent to the entire state of Maryland.
After an intense June and July, Colorado has been quiet on the fire side of things. We are currently living with some very hazy conditions due to being downwind from the ~30 fires that are still burning in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
These skies can make for some unique sunsets, so with that in mind I headed out to see what I could capture. The actual sunset was fairly mild, but the time before the sun went down was spectacular! Unlike anything I’d ever seen.
I had planned to shoot across the lake with the sunset in the background. What I didn’t see coming was the incredible streak of orange that developed across the water. I was casually walking across the dam, because I had plenty of time before the sun actually went down, when I saw the reflection starting to form. It’s normal to get some nice reflections as the sun goes down, but it usually happens much later – and the reflected light fans out and dissipates as it spreads over the lake. I could tell this was going to be different. Something special. The haze was cutting down the intensity of the sunlight and allowing the reflection to form much earlier than usual, which kept it in a tight path all the way to the near shoreline.
Camera flailing, backpack shifting and bouncing all over, I sprinted across the dam for all I was worth. Trying to get into a good position with the most water in view. As I was running, I remembered that when shooting into the sun, cranking the aperature down all the way (so the lens opening is more like a pin hole) creates a cool starburst effect. It seemed to take forever, and I was probably 30-60 seconds too late for the absolute peak moment, but I was happy to set up the tripod and get this shot off before the river of gold got sucked back into the shadows as the sun rocketed below the horizon.