Fire scene photography isn’t just about smoke and flames. There’s not always going to be big fire and billowing smoke, or firemen covered in soot, or a dramatic rescue. Sometimes you get there and … we’ll it’s just a fire scene with nothing special going on. What’s a photographer to do …
Well in my case, it just means that I might have to work a little harder to create a few dramatic, interesting, or compelling images. Perhaps there will be the opportunity for a dramatic portrait, or something a bit artistic.
Some time back, I took in a 3-Alarm fire in Maywood, IL. It took me a while to get there, and all the big fire and smoke had been knocked down well before I arrived. As I walked around the scene, I had my long lens and decided to look for some interesting images that would play off of the low available light that mixed with the scene lighting. They’d been flowing water for a while, so there was quite a bit of water pooling in the street … making for great reflections.
Here’s an image that I shot from half a block away … to create some compression. The first version is straight out of Adobe Camera RAW.
These next few show some creative filtering from NIK Color Efex Pro, Macphun Intensify Pro, and then Topaz Detail and DeNoise.
At this point, it’s just about creativity and having some fun using the software to bring out or enhance the details that are in the original file.