You can see the extant of smoke in our area.It seemed to sit down over the water but remain more aloft right over Tofino.Maybe because the darker land heated up more than the water,which produced thermals above Tofino.Which help aloft or maybe pushed up would be a better description.
All that smoke filters the sun light.That sun light is basically radiation. Our light is composed of different energies.Pass light through a prism & it’ll split into it’s individual components.The rainbow. Each colour has a different wavelength.At one they are short & the far end they are much longer in wavelength. The shorter the wavelength, the easier it is to stop via particulate. The wavelengths with power are Red,Orange & Yellow.ROY.
When there is a lot of particulate suspended in the atmosphere the radiation coming from our sun is scattered.That means it just doesn’t get through our atmosphere.The longer wavelengths are the only ones that can punch through that smoke layer.ROY. Thats why the sun looks so orange during a normal sunset.But because that smoke layer is filtering out all those shorter wavelengths, orange becomes scattered leaving the stage for our old friend Red! Red likes to invite his girlfriend out, Pink.So many times you’ll see pink come after red.
We’ve got close to 600 active fires in British Columbia right now.All this fire produces huge clouds of smoke.These vast clouds contain tiny ash particles.Breathing in this heavy smoke can do a number on your lungs & lord help you if you’ve already got compromised health!
When I wake up in the morning, I go to a satellite site to check on the cloud situation? I watch this site all day to get a better understand of the cloud structure & direction.The most important tool a photographer has is the sun…………. light ! Two rules about light………horizontal light good,vertical light bad. Basically sunrise & sunset are the only times one should be taking pictures.Right place at the right time can turn a mediocre subject into a excellent subject!
Light is the most important element to a great shot.Get a half decent subject & bath it in golden light…….& now your talking! The number one thing that affects the light is……….clouds. You want Goldi-Loks clouds.Not too many & not too few & they can be of any type? Personally I love those towering Cumulonimbus! I find them dramatic.Clouds are very important to a great shot! The worse situation is when there are too many clouds & it’s overcast all day.The light gets snuffed. If you have no light,you have no picture! Light to a photographer is like heat to a cook.If you don’t have the light you ain’t cooking.
We are in “outflow” conditions at the moment.What that means is the wind is coming from the mainland.The normal prevailing breeze is from the west to the east but under outflow conditions the wind is reversed.So we are getting all that forest fire smoke from the forest fires to the east of us.
It wasn’t very sunny today due to all the smoke cloud.Because of the smoke I knew the sun would turn pinkish.All that particulate material will filter out the shorter wavelengths.Only the more powerful longer wavelengths would be able to punch through.The longer ones are red,orange & yellow,ROY.I always like to invite ROY out on my shoots. Past the reddish end is a pinkish colour. I knew the sun would turn pink so I grabbed my camera & went out looking for one of my eagle friends.
I found Ernie on top of a crane mast.I know he likes that spot. I approached these situations the same.If the sun is point A & the eagle is point B,draw a line through A & B to find point C on the ground.Normally I’m in my boat when I do this but not tonight.I decided to go looking over the land tonight. I saw Ernie perched on top of the crane mast! Now all I had to do was line them both up.Trying to find point C on land can be a problem.Out on the water is easy! I find the bearing & move along it till they line up. It turns out point C was on top of a fish processing plant.I know the building & the guy who runs it.Nobody was down there at the time so I had no problem getting up on top.
Ernie was preening away.I wanted him to jump.He never does what I tell him.I had to move further back to get a better angle.I looked behind me & realized I was very close to the edge.I needed to be careful as it was a thirty foot drop.Just as I was turning back,the silly feather duster jumped!I missed the shot. Oh well, …..at least I got something.
10% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
As you can see the sunset went to the pink end of the spectrum.
We are getting forest fire smoke from California. All that smoke contains trillions of very tiny ash particles. All of these particles filter the light coming into our atmosphere.Right at sunset the only wave length able to punch through all of this smoke is violet/pink.
That wildfire north of us is still happening. The “Little Bobtail Lake” fire is putting out a lot of particulate & making our sunsets even more a deeper orange colour!
I originally shot this on July 24rth,2012. The sun is that colour because of a forest fire to the north!
It has been a dry winter for us here in Tofino & the west coast in general! That means more forest fires this summer than normal I suspect.
Hope I’m wrong!