Like last year, Northern BC has been hit hard with wildfires. It’s actually pretty scary looking at the wildfire maps, as it looks like most of the province is currently on fire. Thankfully, there is currently no danger in our immediate vicinity, other than extremely poor air quality from the substantial amount of smoke that has settled in the region, and the airborne ash that lately has been coating my car every night.
Yesterday morning started out normal enough for the past few weeks, a bit smoky but nothing too terrible. But then as the morning wore on, it got darker rather than brighter, and at 9:10am it looked like we were in the midst of some type of solar eclipse event. I went outside to try and capture a few images; it was extremely smoky, cold like it would be in the middle of the night, and all the photo sensitive lights had come on. It was spooky quiet as all the birds had dropped to complete silence.
By 10am the darkness had passed but it remained incredibly smoky throughout the day.
I was in the middle of work so I didn’t have the opportunity to drive anywhere more interesting to take pictures; this is a view down my driveway to the road… not that you can really even see the driveway in the image. It was just the sky I was focused on.
This shot was taken on my Fuji camera with the 18-55 lens, shot at f2.8, ISO 2000 and 1/60 sec. I created the merged panorama in On1 Photo Raw, and for efficiency edited it in On1 (back to the Luminar processing tomorrow). The merged panorama was a bit of a challenge because the images were so dark. I had to up the exposure slider on all the individual images, and then reverse that on the panorama. My camera is basically always set to auto white balance, and I changed it in editing to daylight, and that got the sky to be true to life.
Just to give some perspective, sunrise this week is around 5:55am.
All of us here are praying for the safety of all the incredibly brave people working to put these fires out, and hoping that some favourable weather will be heading their way soon.
I was inspired this week to explore images from Namibia with my painterly effects project for the month. In the brief time I have spent there, I have found it to be a magical place. The light is beautiful and the landscapes are at times surreal. From the air, the vast open spaces seem lifeless, but on the ground, it is a completely different story.
I’ve had a great time over the past 10 days reviewing all of my video clips from my time in Kenya and putting together some highlights as the last instalment of my wide angles only project. With the exception of the lion cub video clip, which was shot on a Panasonic FX1000, all clips were done on the Gopro, and I edited and built the video using the free Gopro studio software.
If you missed the video from Uganda, you can find that here.
Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead. It’s time for me to ponder what my topic will be for May.
My wide angles only project took a bit of an unexpected detour this week, into video editing. I took loads of GoPro stills and video during my 2016 trip to Uganda and Kenya, and never did anything with them. I think I edited one, possibly two GoPro still images. Since the GoPro is by design a very wide angle camera, I thought going through my archives to find some still shots might be fun, but it turned out that compiling a video was more compelling.
I’ve created a short video that follows my journey through Uganda; from Kihihi to Bwindi, onto Ishasha, the Kazinga Channel, the Kyambura Gorge, Kibale Forest and then ending in Entebbe. The still image for the post and the video of the Batwa tribe were shot with my Nikon camera, but the balance was all with the GoPro, generally on a head mount or out the window of a vehicle. Video is not something I’ve ever spent much time on, but it does provide a good feel for what the areas, and a little glimpse into what the gorilla and chimp treks are like. Pardon the shakiness at times and awkward head bobbing; when I was with the gorillas I was taking stills with my Nikon while wearing the GoPro on a head mount.
I hope you enjoy this week’s project. I’ll be going through my Kenya videos for next week.
It’s only the second instalment of my wide angles only topic for the month, and I was honestly ready to bail on it already. The days when it was nice this week, I was knee deep in work and couldn’t sneak off with my camera. Then the weekend arrived with the promise of more free time to get out and explore, and for the most part, dull, grey skies have been the order of the days. Add to that the slowly melting snow carpeting the landscape in a dirty blanket and you’ve not really got the recipe for epic landscape images.
But, despite all that, I went out for a wander in one of the local parks yesterday and I had a great time. Sure it was muddy and slushy and lots of paths and areas were inaccessible, but it felt awesome to go out and shoot. It was also fun to be limited by only having one lens with a small range, and having to focus on things that wouldn’t probably be my first inclination.
I’m definitely going to have to get creative though if I am going to come up with something for each Sunday of April. Stop by next weekend to see what I have come up with.