Firefighter makes rescue from house fire

Okay … so the headline is a bit sensational …

I was at a townhouse fire today in Buffalo Grove (IL) and there wasn’t much to see from the outside. Firefighters made an excellent stop of a fire that communicated to the attic of a multiple occupancy structure.

As I was outside basking in the hot sun after forgetting to grab a hat … someone tapped me on the shoulder and told me that they’d made a rescue.  He had a wide grin on his face and was from a different department than the firefighter in the photo.

fireman rescues cat from house fire
A telephoto image of a firefighter holding on to a pet that was brought out of a home that had sustained a fire. Larry Shapiro photo

As for the image, I had to deal with the dark gear against the bright, sunlit bushes framed beneath the shadow of a tree and the bright fur of the cat in his arms. Lots to look at, lots competing for the attention of the viewer.

I used a softening filter from the NIK Color Efex Pro and used a mask to remove it from the fireman. I bumped up the shadow detail in his gear and brought down the highlights in the cat’s white fur. When I was done, I added a subtle vignette to darken the edges and brighten the center adding more visual appeal. The trick with adding a vignette is that it should not be obvious that it’s there. If you can see it, you’ve gone too far.