The Smoke-Filled Sky

I drove out to the lighthouse at Split Point (Airey’s Inlet, on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road) to take some sunset shots, only to find, to my dismay, that a DSE back-burn was taking place in the hills behind the town, and the sky was choked by a column of smoke. So much for a pretty sunset.
What I got instead was the dramatic lighting and colours of the smokey sky, mingling with the warm hues of a colourful dusk, and on into a dramatic, fire-filled night.

Framing the lighthouse against the smoke and the contrasting blue sky (above) created some otherworldly images that really caught the eye. The lighting was quite surreal.

As the sun set (pink glow behind the smoke and clouds, left) the towering smoke was blown in different directions as it rose against the sky by different winds at altitude. The column was dark and dramatic.

The colour palette as the sun set and caught high-level clouds with warm pinks and magentas was a stark contrast to the dark clouds of smoke and again leant a surreal air to the scene- quite a unique vista. With the lighthouse as a point of interest in the foreground, I was thrilled with the shots.

As night fell, the stars came out in the clear sky, while the location of the fire along the ridgeline in the distance was marked by a fierce glow that reflected in the clouds. The chimneys of the lighthouse keeper’s home made for a point of interest in the foreground.

As full night took hold, the glow of the fire against the clouds was intense. I’ve celebrated the interplay of light between starlight, fire glow and lighthouse beacon in another post.

Several hours after sunset, and the fire was burning strong. This view was taken from the top of the hill descending from the lighthouse station, overlooking the small town of Airey’s Inlet to where smoke continued to pour from the hills behind- more than a little disconcerting. I later took some more shots of the fire from another vantage. All up, the shoot was an interesting and quite unique one that pitted a variety of curious lighting sources against one another and left me with some very individual shots. I’m so pleased I didn’t give up before sunset and head home like I very nearly did.

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