PostPosted: Jun 14, 2008 - 03:58 AM
Subject: Smoke from Indians Fire drifts far and wide

I just got a new camera Wednesday and on a whim took it to work today. I was thinking it might try to take some test shots after work just to start the process of learning how to use a digital SLR. So when I walked out of work to find the light strangely warm and the sun blurry and red I snapped a few shots without knowing what had caused the effect.

Then I stopped by a wildlife area in Palo Alto intending to try my luck a photographing some fishing birds in the ponds there. It became obvious while there that the odd light was due to a massive plume of smoke that had drifted up from the south. The trail of smoke stretched as far south as I could see and covered most of the sky to the west of me. So in addition to shooting the birds I captured some images of the sun/sky as well.

When I got home the local news reported that the smoke was from the Indians Fire in the Monterey area. That's well over a hundred miles away, but the fire is so massive, at least 4200 acres burned, that the smoke mass made it all the way to the San Francisco peninsula.

So even though I was just hacking around with a DSLR for the first time I thought the scene was odd enough that you all might find the images interesting. So I picked out a few of the shots from tonight's shots and created this page to display them.

With one exception, the only modifications I made was to scale the images. That's really the color as the camera recorded it and the way it looked in person. The exception is the 5th images where I used "curves" in Gimp to lighten the dark end of the spectrum globally to bring out some detail in the grasses.