Spending a few days travelling up and down the bush fire-ravaged area of the Australian south coast of New South Wales sprinkle some money it was hard to not be freaked out by the destruction the fires have had in that part of the Australian, where I am sure it a scene that has been replicated all over Australian bushfires in the last few months.
There is kilometre after kilometre of burnt national parks, reserves, and farmland. In some places the destruction is so bad that there is nothing left on the ground, the bushes that may have been there before the fires are completely gone and so is any ash from which they would have ultimately turned into.
The landscape in some parts looks like the back of a balding echidna, with what were once filled with healthy trees and bush, it now looks like quills that are also so sparse that you can clearly see the landscape they once protected.
Stopping at one place to have a look around, what struck me was the complete silence. There were no sounds…. Like none…. No birds, no wind, no leaves, not anything… like there was nothing… It was both surreal and relaxing at the same time.
The other thing that I took away from looking at hundreds of kilometres of burnt-out land was the incredibly high percentage of houses that survived even while everything was burnt around them. Their fences were gone, gates were gone, trees around them were gone but the houses looked untouched. House after house, as I drove up and down the south coast, was like this. With everyone I saw it was hard to figure out how they were not touched, I know the RFS would have been there for some and residents were there for others but I am sure good old fashion good luck played a very valuable role for most.
I would say that I am not really a believer of a higher being however there are times when you just have to sit back and think “Is the universe trying to tell me something??”
And this photo was one of those times!!
To give some of my rural friends some situational awareness of the fires, I once again popped up to the top of one of their hills to capture the fires.
Shooting away for about 15 minutes light rain started to fall. I could feel the cool water on my face and all I could think of was “I hope this continues and hits the firefront”.
Turning around the most amazing rainbow appeared, and not only was it amazing cause of the clarity but it was a complete rainbow, and parts were a DOUBLE RAINBOW that seems to look like a shield protecting Canberra.
The left end of the started over the Canberra city just near Black Mountain and ended over the southern suburbs of Canberra, like Banks, Conder and Gordon.
I am not sure about you but for me looking at this, it gave me a sense of protection and with heavy rains forecast to fall across Australia, I think it was a sign from mother nature to say “I’ve got this and everything is going to OK!”
As the fires rage through the country we all look to the authorities to keep us up to date, informed and safe.
As mentioned in my previous post I have been volunteering as part of a fireteam helping to defend rural properties, this also means I have exclusive access to these rural properties that are currently under threat in the Southern areas of the ACT (Australian Capital Tettoriy).
Just like 99% of every Australian, I am by no means an expert on fire activity and movements, nor do I have any idea of how to really tackle such an enormous job of controlling, steering and eventually extinguishing these fires. What I do know I have the ability to use the equipment I have at hand to get visuals of the firefront and its movements as it crawls along with the mountain ranges like the snowline melting after the winter.
I have at my home a great view of the eastern side of the fires and a northerly view from the farms. Capturing, watching and reporting these fires out to people that are in their path has allowed me to keep these people informed so they can make the right decisions but the side effect of taking photos so they can see what the fire is doing, is that I do get to take some incredible photos and the ones sit at the top of the pile are the sunsets.
Here is just one of them.
In the photo below you can see to the left half has the fire in the hills while the right after is yet untouched.
As I look at this image I can see and feel the destruction the fire has had on the impacted areas. I look and wait knowing it will pass to the other side bringing with it a renewed pressure to bring this fire under control.
The other interesting this about this image is the cloud formations above the fire ground on the left of the image to the clouds in the yet untouched areas.
To me, it looks like the heat of the fires have pushed the clouds up where on the right the cloud cover is flat. I’m a sure someone much much smarter than I that can tell me if what I am seeing is actually what is happening here. 🙂
For the locals some more details in the photo:
From left to right, you can see the firefront moving as it snakes its way from the Tharwa village towards the Corin forest area and then onto Tidbinbilla. Mount Tennent is out of shot to the left, while the valley to the left of the hill in the middle is the Corin Road and the hills in the far right is the Tidbinbilla nature reserve and the Brindabella Ranges.
I have dedicated my photography career in the pursuit of capturing the very essence of what I am photographing so as to bring the “forever memories” back to life. Through this, I now have the ability to share my years of experience with you through my on-line courses.
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What I loved about Brendan was his ability to capture that expression, story, and reveals more about me that a simple happy snap."
Sarah KateDance Instructor
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Andrew Buswell and Kelsey PincerInternational Dance Instructors and Winners
"Brendan I just saw a few of the wedding photographs they are just beautiful. The ones you captured of the moment I realised the music playing was from our wedding day are so special I cried seeing them a beautiful moment captured by you. I cannot thank you enough and look forward to seeing them all later this week when I sit down with Jodi and Jamie. Thank you x"
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