American LaFrance Aero Chief Quint

This shot is one of my favorites. It features a 90′, 1971 1000 Series American LaFrance Aero Chief quint from Libertyville, IL. The fire occurred on October 27, 1995 at the Coffee Masters, Inc. facility on Concrete Drive in Lakemoor, IL. Lakemoor contracts with the Fox Lake Fire Department, and it was their fire that  went to 5 alarms plus 2 special alarms for water tankers. I have to say that it was probably one of the sweetest smelling fires that I’ve ever photographed.

American LaFrance 1000 Series Aero Chief quint
1971 American LaFrance 1000 Series Aero Chief quint from Libertyville, IL working at a huge fire in Lakemoor on October 27, 1995. Larry Shapiro photo

I was fortunate to be able to get the vertical image without distortion. The layout of the building, in addition to the portable tank and the small visible portions of the other two trucks create a frame around the open-cab quint to bring the viewer’s attention to the middle of the image. It would have been great with massive flames, but nonetheless I’m not at all disappointed with the drama created by the dark smoke.

The original image was captured with a Mamiya RZ67 on 120mm Kodak Ektachrome film. I scanned the transparency and then brought it into Photoshop. My first step is always to examine the image carefully at 100%bfor dust spots and other imperfections from the scanner.  Then I tweak the white balance, followed by the contrast, and vibrance or saturation.  I added a slight bit of tonal contrast from NIK Color Efex Pro.

I wish I’d had more opportunities to photograph this truck in addition to dozens of other area classics before they were gone.