Thursday, April 24, 2008

POTW: Fire

Here is my entry for this week's Colorado 4X4 Shutterbug forum "Photo of the Week" Contest. The theme was "Fire" and I immediately knew that I was going to interpret this concept by not having any fire in the image at all! Come on, that would have been too obvious, right? ;) (OK, I admit that I did take a pic of the first lit fireplace I could find, but when I saw the images, none of them inspired me, plus I thought other submitters might have the same thing).

What I like about participating in these weekly or monthly challenges is the opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try to reimagine concepts or ideals through photography. During my weekend getaway with my boyfriend (we were celebrating my first year as a photographer) we drove through parts of Colorado that had been overcome with forest fire. Our conversation drained away into silence when we saw the devastation of the 2002 Hayman Fire, a senseless wildfire caused by arson (reputedly started by former federal forestry officer, Terry Barton, who claimed she was attempting to burn a letter from her estranged husband in a no-fire designated area). The fire torched over 138,000 acres and burned across four different counties. Six people died.

I tried to capture some of what was lost when I took this image where dead trees now stand charred and stark. My wide angle 16-35mm was a great choice for encompassing the vastness of the destruction. I'm probably just seeing too much into this, but I like how the curving road appears to lead to the snowcapped mountains and parts untouched by the fire. Seems like hope to me, maybe even forgiveness and rebirth.

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