Viewed from Sunset Rest Area (I -17), a smoke shrouded mountain range in the wake of the Gladiator Fire.
NIKON D300,f/14 @ 200 mm, 1/200, ISO 200
Yesterday, we stumbled upon this tragic but unique scene driving from Sedona back to Phoenix. My wife, Anita, and I had a truly delightful day checking out art galleries and shopping in Sedona and Jerome, Arizona, never opening my camera bag.
Approaching the Sunset Rest Area on I-17, however, we noticed smoke from the Gladiator Fire still lingering to the West. This fire started on May 13, at a home just North of Crown King, a small mining community situated approximately 20 miles from Prescott. Partially contained now (approximately 70%), the fire has tragically encompassed over 16,000 acres of land.
Shrouded in smoke, the mountain range had a rather eerie blurred look even in the bright late afternoon light, portions of the range fading off into white haze. Due to the intense heat of the day (approximately 109 degrees) and strong wind gusts, I shot only a few picture of this scene at the Sunset Rest Area. For this image, I used a Nikon 80 -200 mm lens set at 200 mm, a circular polarizer filter set at full strength and a lens hood.
Most of the images from this shoot were overexposed, despite my bracketing for exposure (five exposures of each scene). Candidly, the photograph shown here required some significant editing in Photoshop, which I tried to make as judiciously as possible.
In the aftermath of yet another forest fire and massive destruction, we are reminded of the fragile nature of the environment and the need to protect our delicate ecosystem. Our thanks go to the fire fighters and others who protect our treasured lands.
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