Fire News on the Home Front
“I often find that people confuse inner peace with some sense of insensibility whenever something goes wrong. In such cases inner peace is a permit for destruction: The unyielding optimist will pretend that the forest is not burning either because he is too lazy or too afraid to go and put the fire out.”Criss Jami, Killosophy
Please pray for all the brave firefighters battling the many blazes in Oregon and California. Without them our own house would be in the midst of the fire instead receiving the ashes from someone else’s tragedy.
Would you want to go outside in that air? Hugh’s challenge of inside was a welcome one.
The air was a negative space today, but not in a photographic sense. Looking out the window was like looking through a filtered lens that made the grass look greener and the sun a brilliant orange – perfect for Hugh’s Sunday Still’s theme of orange last week.
The weather outside was frightful, and the fire was not delightful. We had no other place to go because the ashes were falling as snow.
The words may be a little too flippant and insensible for the occasion, but I couldn’t keep myself from hearing this Christmas song in my head. My dad made up stupid words to songs embarrassing me when I was a child. His silliness wore off on me. Sorry!
You could watch the ashes and tree bits fall all day long – from the safety of inside our house.
In Fresno County, just about forty miles north of us the Creek Fire burns the Shaver Lake area. They don’t expect the Creek Fire to be contained until October 15th.
“The Creek Fire was first sparked on Friday evening (September 11) and was 182,225 acres as of Friday morning with 6% containment. At least 377 structures have been damaged or destroyed, and more than 14,000 are threatened. Officials say 30,000 residents of Fresno County and 15,000 residents of Madera County have been evacuated.”
Using Negative Space
According to Amy from Lens-Artists, “Negative space is the area around the main subject of your photograph. This space is empty or unoccupied. Spencer Cox at Photography Life explains, “Photos with high amounts of negative space are: empty, subdued, peaceful, calm, and isolated.”
Sue works with children, so she put clear plastic in her mask so that they could see her mouth.
This photo didn’t start out with a lot of negative space, but I wanted to show you this great mask for teachers that my friend, Sue had made. To create negative space, I began by cropping the printing off Sue’s shirt. The Photoshop clone tool covered the the arm of the man and a post next to her with mulch. I guarantee that this negative background will NOT grow weeds.
However, since the real focus is the fact that you can see her mouth through the mask, I thought I could do better. So, I cropped the photo again close to the mask then smudged out Sue’s eyes to create more negative space. Her mouth isn’t digitized, the plastic is steamy. I get so hot working in masks, I can’t breathe – that’s negative space, too. But the next picture is a breath of fresh air.
“Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. For purple mountains majesty…”
In July a real estate friend and I traveled to Prescott, AZ to look at property. What we really loved were the skies.
This flag in the middle of nowhere made me want to get outside the car and salute. It wasn’t exactly nowhere, it was on Road 5 North, not Interstate 5 North, which for some reason struck me as funny because this was no freeway.
Then the skies charcoaled and we pulled over to capture their magnificence. Within minutes they performed the miracle we are praying for in California and Oregon right now.
We sat inside the car and marveled at how good it felt to have a little downpour. The rest of the picture blurred, giving the picture some negative space and concentrating more attention to the raindrops on the window. The temperature instantly dropped from about 95 to 75. We felt like we had been transported to heaven and were ready to move in that instant.
But we didn’t. We came back and my friend Sally and I walked three miles around Bravo Lake lake at 6:30 in the morning to beat the 110 degree heat. The reflection of the foothills on the glassy surface stopped us in our tracks.
This photo was taken as part Cee’s challenge on horns, but it is the perfect photo to play taps for these two challenges. Looking at the horn from the inside of the bugler’s head revealed that our trumpeter had very little gray matter between his ears. You can see his webbed synapses, and the little Charlotte that keeps his brain spinning. The background blurred giving the picture lots of negative space, as I zoomed in on the inside of his head and his eyes and spidery thoughts horned into focus.
“Where Do You Find These Photo Challenges?” a friend asked.
Do You Host a Writing or Photography Challenge?
If you would like to do an interview on my blog, Always Write about your writing or photography challenge, please contact me below. I’d love to chat with you.
- How Responding to a Photo Challenge Focuses Your Writing and Increases Your Followers – Guest Post #3 Terri Webster Schrandt Sunday Stills
- How Four Strangers from Around the World Coordinate a Weekly Photo Challenge Interview #7 Lens-Artists, Tina, Patti, Ann-Christine, and Amy
- Favorite Views from my Window #4 Sunday Stills
- Ode to an Old Kitty #111 Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, #Sunday Snapshot 2
- Worth a Thousand Words #112 Lens-Artists Photo Challenge