Victoria’s back on fire alert tonight. We still have several major bushfires burning across the state. The winds tomorrow are expected to pick up to 60-80kph, gusting up to 120kph in highland areas. Warm and dry for most of the day. Tonight the Victorian Police sent out an automated warning text message to five million mobile phones across the state- an unprecedented step. Everybody’s just a little on edge. Even strangers you pass on a walking track make little comments while we wait with baited breath to see whether tomorrow will bring more devastation. We all know people who have homes close to the front lines. We can only hope it will fizzle into nothing and slide quietly under the rug.
The sunset was spectacular tonight, but I missed it, on my way back from a family dinner and stuck in the car without my camera and without a vantage. These were the remnants I snapped. The air was warm and still and quiet. The smoke still staining the sky adds a depth of colour that’s usually absent. The sea was still, sighing gently up and down. It was as if everything were normal.
I came home from the shoot and worked with Dad for half an hour, making sure our house was as secure against the windstorm as it could be, clearing up loose debris and weighing down anything that might blow over. My folks live in an outer suburb well away from the fire-front, but at the leading edge of a steep gully, so tomorrow I’ll be packing a quick-run bag, just in case. I don’t expect it to be needed. But I’d rather not be caught unprepared.
The wind was gusting a little earlier, but it seems to have settled down now. Just the eddies of air as the world cools after the sunset. The front’s not due to hit us for another six hours or so. If the weather reports are to be believed, it’s just striking the Western edge of the state now.
Nothing to do but lie here with the lights off, wait, and see.
Both images taken tonight (2-3-09) from the steps overlooking Moondah Beach, Canon EOS 5D with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens, post-processed for contrast and sharpness with Adobe Lightroom.
First photo taken with a 142-sec exposure and stacked polarizer and ND-400 neutral density filters, camera balanced on a fence-post and shutter set to ‘bulb’, finger pressure throughout.
Second photo taken hand-held with polarizer, manually underexposed by 1 f-stop.