Looking out across the valley and into the hills where they are doing back burning the image is outstanding.
The image is also kind of a trick, what I mean by that is that the compression of a super long lens has brought the hills close to the houses when fact it is actually at least 10 km away, compression of the super-telephoto lenses is one of those things which can use all sorts of situations we want to bring the background into the foreground and give that impression that they are close.
It is something that is used a lot to give that deeper feel to the image. It also means that if you do have a long lens chances are that no one else can take a photo like yours as a super long lens, especially quality lenses cost a bomb but when you use them they worth every cent.
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.
For anyone that doesn’t live in Australia, this country has been under attack from bush fires for almost 3 months.
They have burnt more forests than you could ever believe and as I type they continue to burn and all across the country.
Here in Canberra where I live we have up until the last few weeks have been immune to the rages of this years bush fire season however given that everything is burning around us it was a ticking time bomb.
And it was our turn. The fires have take out most of the Namadgi National Park and have come close the the urban fringes of Canberra.
People all across this country have been out helping others be it through boots on the ground fire protection, donations, supplies, putting people up in houses or emotional support.
Having been one of those people trying to help from afar and feeling very powerless to assist as the fires come closer to Canberra, I like many others put out the offer off assistance.
For me, that takes shape in helping rural landholder mates and others to understand the fires but also be part of their active fire team to defend their properties when and if the fire reaches their boundaries.
The other part of this is to be able to photograph the fire as it moved and shaped around the landscape, allowing them to understand fire moments and when they might be impacted.
In helping these farmers it also gives me exclusive access to view points that most of the public is not allowed as the entire rural south of Canberra has been blocked due to safety concerns.
I have a few different photos of the fires that are happening as I type but I wanted to share this photo with you as it seemed so comforting watching it move and shape its way around the hill that it is hard to remember the death that this fire is bringing to the landscape and the native wildlife.
For the locals this photo was taken the night of the 2rnd of February 2020 from Tharwa facing the fire that was moving on the north side of the fire and into Corin dam.
Talking with the locals that have both lived in the area for many decades and have been in the fire service for many decades they say the risk of this northward moving fire has the potential of moving from the rural landscape into the urban interface and causing loss of houses and property.
Will that come true, who knows but what I can say, sitting back and watching this fire at night and from a distance has given me a new found respect for the fire but also the beauty that it brings, though things like the night fires but also the rejuvenation of life with the bush land after the fire.
Right now the night time allows us to take stock, and look at the positive side before the daylight come where we know so will the destruction of bushfires.
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.
“Yes, I was very pleased with the photos. I was hoping for a nice family picture but ended up with so much more...I love the story behind the photos (like the fake laugh!), hence me ordering a number of the candid ones. My mum is visiting at the moment and she picked a few for herself too which is great."
Alanna GregoryBredbo NSW
"BTW thanks very much for the special gift, kids love those photos!!! And will find a use for the voucher if I can."
"Fantastic Brendan, I'm very much looking forward to receiving them!"
"So many people have said how amazing you were on Saturday and that you are such an amazing person :)"
"They look amazing! Thank you I'm very happy with my final photos."
"Hey Brendan, thanks for the photos - they're fantastic. I gave Jenny (the girl in the photos) her copies and she was very happy. Thank you very much!"
"I've been dancing since I was three years old. For me, dancing is how I express the depths of who I am, each fluid movement allowing me to tell a story about an emotion, a time or a person.
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
"We loved the passion and artistic angles Brendan Maunder put into our photos from the National capital championships, the service Brendan provided was 10/10 and the comments we got on the photos after we posted them on our fan page was overwhelming"
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"
Ali RaybouldMother Of The Bride
"Thank you again so much for all the did on the day, having you there made it so much more personal "
"Lookin great, mate! I can't wait to see what you got yesterday. Also, we all really enjoyed your company; and I'd like to extend a permanent invitation to you to remain as our series photographer from now on "