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Thread: Hot opportunity...

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    Hot opportunity...

    Well... I have a front row seat... from my back balcony.

    They are just about to start a 170ha burn off in the national park behind my place.
    The chopper is flying overhead and the crews are preparing to light it up within sight of my balcony.

    Yeh ha! for opportunity.

    Bummer for not having better camera equipment on hand.
    My current camera's zoom is pitiful.
    Also... a lot of concern for the wildlife... I have contacted WIRES to give them a heads up.

    I have recently put out a dish of water for the birds and they have been getting acquainted to it for a couple of days now.
    But will need to go for a walk when it's all done to see if there is anything I can do for any injured wildlife.
    The biggest bummer... I work weekends. so the best time to be looking for the animals and getting some shots of smouldering tree stumps... I'll be at work.
    The forecast for all of next week is rain... so it will be a very interesting time.

    This is the first time I've lived near a national park during a burn off.

    Excited as much as I'm concerned.

    Hope to get some good pics from this.
    Also have been spending the last couple of months getting a bunch of before pics... so that I can get a time laps thing happening of the recovery process of the park.

    I really wish I had better equipment for all of this... but I am happy with some of my recent shots with the equipment that I have... thanks to the advice I've gotten from here... so maybe it's not so bad.

    Cheers all.

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    Carpe Diem... Gazza's Avatar
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    That's going to be an experience and a half!!
    Hope everything goes to plan ... be interesting to see your record of the event.


    Cheers ...
    If at first you don't succeed, then Sky-diving is not for you....
    CC more than welcome..."I can't be offended", and feel free to post your ideas with an edit if ya have the time. Thanks......





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    Update: A bit of smoke from over the other side of the mountain.

    Taken some shots of the smoke rising up.
    They say that they won't be lighting up my area until later in the arvo or tomorrow.

    With all the rain we've had here of late... they're having trouble keeping it lit
    I might miss the fire/flame shots if they leave it till tomorrow.
    Fingers crossed that all goes well.
    The crew that are behind my place don't seem all that concerned... just another day at the office

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    Another update...

    FIRE!

    WOOHOO! (Yes. I do WOOHOO )

    TIL: a controlled burn off... looks nothing at all like an out of control - call in Elvis! - bushfire.
    BUT...
    I saw flamage. I saw flare up. I snapped firefighters and NPWS people and their equipment.
    I saw the currawongs massing in wait around the edges of scorched bush.
    I saw Satin Bower birds also skirting the edges.
    I snapped some currawongs in flight, during their aerial acrobatics... as they picked the bugs out of mid air while trying to escape from the fire.
    I saw a chopper so close, I could barely hear.
    I had my shutter speed at max (1/2000) and hoped that the Iris setting was right.
    I tracked the chopper with my tripod all loose and how much fun was that!!!
    It moved, I moved my camera, it kept moving, I kept missing the shot... LOL... but it kept returning and I started to get the rhythm right and was soon predicting it's movement, even while the viewfinder was blind during shutter/camera processing between shots... how good does it feel to have the viewfinder come back to life to find the moving subject still in frame!

    Used many variations of the manual settings and focus.

    Also found out that my gopro has a 'RAW' feature!
    I get to practice some RAW PP.

    What a day... and more to come.

    GTG... I can here my favourite subject's chopper blades overhead.

    Did I say... WOOHOO yet?


    - - - Updated - - -

    Ooh, ooh...

    I forgot to mention...

    After some frustration with my current equipment (as was expected)... I have updated my wish list for what to buy next.
    Using dream money (or real money if the gods of all that is lotto are smiling down on me)... i plan to buy a zoom, telephoto lens SO big... It will be a two person carry and need a tripod with an engineered safe working limit to support it.

    Grumble, mummble, rddy flppin pitiful zoom... pi-ti-ful.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And I will throw in one more update...

    My concerns about the wildlife... well the birds anyhow... have been alleviated.
    Most of the birds that dwell around where I am... I have never seen. They are very aloof.
    But as the fire crews move off towards the next section to be set alight... the local birds have returned and are being quite vocal about the whole thing.
    The whip birds seem excited... and still won't show themselves to me.
    All the little birds... lets call them finches (as I have no idea what they are and have never seen most of them... i only know they are there for their chirps) have also returned.
    I think that they are all quite pleased with the smorgasbord of fleeing and roasted bugs that the burn has provided.

    I can't wait to go exploring the new old landscape.
    Last edited by JDuding; 21-08-2015 at 3:33pm.

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    Carpe Diem... Gazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDuding View Post
    Using dream money (or real money if the gods of all that is lotto are smiling down on me)... i plan to buy a zoom, telephoto lens SO big... It will be a two person carry and need a tripod with an engineered safe working limit to support it.
    I think they're on everyone's 'Wish List'


    Good to hear the birds return so quick...

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Love your enthusiasm.
    Don't worry to much about the wildlife. They are Australian and therefore have instincts about fire. Also hazard reductions are low intensity fires so the animals have plenty of time to relocate.

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    Hope it all goes well, we had a scrub fire near us last week (common in the dry) and the smoke is still hanging around!

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Interesting post. Looking forward to seeing your photos.

    I suppose there will be some wildlife casualties but I guess they will be a lot less in a controlled burn than in an out of control wildfire.

    Hope it is not a koala habitat, they don't fare too well in fires.
    Cheers
    Kev

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    I'm not sure Kev.

    I know that the park has some koalas. I've never seen one... but I've spoken to people who have rescued some after a big fire.

    Some time next week, I'll start looking through the pics.
    I see second hand cameras for sale that say... not many pics taken, only 11k shutter count... and I'm surprised that they call that only!
    Now I realise how easy it is to rack up that shutter count in not long at all.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDuding View Post
    I'm not sure Kev.

    I see second hand cameras for sale that say... not many pics taken, only 11k shutter count... and I'm surprised that they call that only!
    Now I realise how easy it is to rack up that shutter count in not long at all.
    I wouldn't worry about 11.000 shutter actuations as most shutters are rated for 100,000 or more. How well the camera has been cared for is more important.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hmm! Back to the beasts: for them, less "opportune" as (blasted) hot!
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Hmm! Back to the beasts: for them, less "opportune" as (blasted) hot!


    As for the 'beasts', about to finish my cuppa and then kit up for a hike around (with cameras) to see how much impact that fire actually had.
    I'm sorta thinking that most everything could have gotten away in time... the fire was so small.

    The area covered was huge... a supposed 170ha... but it was lit in sections and I never saw the flames higher than a metre or two.
    Very slow burn and rain yesterday, today and forecast for more ahead.

    But... will see over the week as I trudge deeper into the park... as the weather permits.

    Here's hoping i find nothing injured or worse.
    (and that I don't get caught in the rain out there... my equipment is not exactly water proof)

    - - - Updated - - -

    and... not even finished cuppa... rain.

    Sorry wildlife... you'll have to wait a bit longer before I visit.
    Last edited by JDuding; 24-08-2015 at 12:41pm.

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    This is a story I would have loved to have read about 30 years ago..

    As a bush worker for 20 years, I have heard so many tales from extremist saying how bad fuel reduction burns are. How devastating to fauna and flora they are. Your opening post showed some of that brainwashing.

    But as you had a front row seat to reality, you have seen, and will see the truth. You have seen the wildlife cope. You have seen the birds delight in the benefits. Now after all this rain you will see the regrowth as it happens. You will see trees come back to life. You will see animals you have never seen before..

    You'll also have the benefit of knowing that you have 98% less chance of having your house burn down during the fire season.

    So JDuding. Get out there with your camera. Document all that you observe with film (Digital anyway) And just love it.

    And another thought.... You'll have less chance of seeing someone like me on a 40 degree day, wearing overalls, risking my life to save you precious house block.
    Geoff
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffsta View Post

    As a bush worker for 20 years, I have heard so many tales from extremist saying how bad fuel reduction burns are.
    And then there are others that say we have to do more more more. The more burning the better. But you have to burn in the right places at the right time for it to ultimately, potentially save people and property (and that's what hazard reduction should be about).

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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffsta View Post
    This is a story I would have loved to have read about 30 years ago..

    As a bush worker for 20 years, I have heard so many tales from extremist saying how bad fuel reduction burns are. How devastating to fauna and flora they are. Your opening post showed some of that brainwashing.

    But as you had a front row seat to reality, you have seen, and will see the truth. You have seen the wildlife cope. You have seen the birds delight in the benefits. Now after all this rain you will see the regrowth as it happens. You will see trees come back to life. You will see animals you have never seen before..

    You'll also have the benefit of knowing that you have 98% less chance of having your house burn down during the fire season.

    So JDuding. Get out there with your camera. Document all that you observe with film (Digital anyway) And just love it.

    And another thought.... You'll have less chance of seeing someone like me on a 40 degree day, wearing overalls, risking my life to save you precious house block.


    Please don't get me wrong... I am over the moon that this burn off worked out so well.
    But...
    ...my concerns were not from media hype or hippie brainwashing... but from past observations.

    This area has had a very poor past record with previous 'hazard reduction burns'.
    Almost all have been performed in unsuitable weather conditions... almost all have gotten out of control due to unforeseen shifts in the weather and one time... an utterly Worse Case Scenario... a tanker and it's crew were engulfed in the burn off that they started and all were lost.

    One burn off got so out of control... they called in one of those 'Elvis' choppers to assist and was the main reason we were able to get through with out loss of property. I saw some amazing flying and water bombing that year... fire racing up the mountain between two homes... about to loose both and 'Elvis' hovered a few houses from where I was... sucked up the contents of a pool... flew up towards the mountain... turned to do a mid air U turn and released the contents right between the two houses and completely dowsed the flame. A moment I will never forget.

    I have lived in this part of the Central Coast NSW for most of my life... and this may be the first successful 'hazard reduction burn' I've seen. And I'm thankful for that.

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