From earlier this year, when the now-yearly wildfires were burning all around us. This was a particularly smoky day, with the smoke from this year’s fires enveloping the remnants of previous year’s fires.

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Any comments welcome.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
a7r3, 70mm, f/16, 1/100s, ISO 400. Not much processing, just some dodging/burning to even things out.

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Bonnie, you’ve got an interesting mix of stark (the burnt trees) and inviting (the faint island and its reflection in a slighty warm white color. This is a strong “statement” image. While this is what was there, I do wonder how it would look and feel if the foreground tree had fewer of the tiny branches?

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The stark FG tree just feels too depressingly unattractive to me, but I think the BG might make a wonderful image if you had managed to get further to the left and get the FG tree out of the image.

Yes, it is indeed. That was my idea (and state of mind), so this is working as intended. :slight_smile: I was going for bleak and disturbing.

It definitely is not something that one would want hanging on the wall (don’t even know if I would do that).

As a comment on fires (and the many other climate disasters) with a faint hope beyond, it is indeed disturbingly powerful.

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I agree. As a pure landscape image, it is minimalist and perhaps lacks popularity for that reason. But as Diane said as a ‘comment on fires’ it is excellent. It is indeed disturbing, especially when I realized the fog was smoke. Yes, quite deep and disturbing. On this level it works for me. Well done.

If you wanted to make a pretty image, you failed, but if you wanted to evoke emotion, you succeeded. In spades! And I think we all could step up to the challenge of making art that steps out of the accepted mold. Especially in today’s world of Instagram and other platforms that embrace simplified beauty that just makes you click like instead of cranking up any other thoughts or musings. The fires I only see and read about, I’ve never experienced that level of fear or anxiety about nature. I’ve never lived in a place where it could destroy my house or my town. Bleak is right. Our harmony with nature is long past and now we pay the price. It’s a steep one and I think this image brings that home.

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This image is disturbing on the level of the fire devastation but also on a psychological level. Something is broken within. The first is much more easily achieved but the second takes a much greater imagination and harder to evaluate as a viewer. I have to be with this a bit but I think it’s a great work. It’s not something that I would have even considered. And that’s too bad.

Personally I think you should post such thought provoking work in the landscape gallery for wider exposure and discussion. It could influence photographers here for a broader approach to photography and greater growth. That’s something that could be valuable here at NPN.

Thank you, @Diane_Miller, @Marc_McCann, @Kris_Smith, @Mark_Seaver, and @Igor_Doncov for your thoughts.

It is anxiety inducing now, every summer when it’s hot and the wind starts to blow. Everyone starts to feel on edge. I think was compelled to go out on this day, with the thick smoke and blowing wind, as sort of immersion therapy - there’s a word for that and I can’t think of it at the moment.

It was even more surreal because as I stood at the edge of this road a far-away coyote started to howl.

I was filled with sadness and melancholy for everything that’s been lost in all the wildfires, but I hope I’m not totally broken. I do despair sometimes, though, knowing that this situation is not going to change within the rest of my lifetime.

My comment didn’t mean to imply that it was your internal state. It implied a state different than the remnants of a forest fire. Sorry for the confusion.

BTW, the unorthodox composition of having everything crowded in a single corner works well with the ‘bleakness’ statement in my opinion. That was sort of interesting to me.

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