2018-08-18: Smoky Skies

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.

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A merged panorama of 5 images shot at 9:18am yesterday morning.  A single shot definitely captured the spookiness of the colour of the sky, but having the panorama really shows the variation in different areas of the sky.

 

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.

 

2017-08-13: Smoky Skies

Wildfires have been raging in British Columbia for the past two months, and while thankfully we have remained removed from the height of the chaos, we are definitely close enough to feel the effects.  My city has been one of several hubs for people that have been evacuated from their homes due to the proximity of the fires, and depending on the wind and other atmospheric conditions, we have been on occasion inundated with smoke.

The past week has been smoky on and off and I’ve been photographing the intensely orange sunrises over the past few days; things turned quite eerie though yesterday afternoon, and this morning the smoke is so thick, I’ll be foregoing my normal walk around the neighbourhood.  It’s rained on and off through the night, and it smells like a huge, washed out campfire outside at the moment.

Here are few images from the past week.

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Sunrise yesterday morning while out walking.  
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A reflection of trees on my car, which was covered in a layer of fine ash.
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Sunset is currently around 8:45pm.  This was last night at 7:01pm.  The sky began turning a strange yellow/grey/green colour around 2:00pm, and it just got creepier as the day wore on.
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Sunrise through a layer of smoke on Wednesday.
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This morning outside my home; the smoke hanging thickly amongst the trees.  An hour later, it’s grown darker rather than brighter.
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Tuesday also provided a rather colourful sunrise through a layer of smoke.