Behind the Photo: Morning Fire Detail

The night was a rocky one for me.

Thunderstorms battered the area with winds knocking my car around and lightning fracturing the sky. I was quite literally in the middle of the storm. I can only best describe it as a sight to be seen but not slept through.

So, being awake considerably earlier than usual, I was first in line to get up to Clingman’s Dome. But with the storms from the night prior, many threatening looking clouds lingered around. I was actually worried I wouldn’t get any star or sunrise photos.

Almost as if it were planned out, as I neared the top the clouds began to part and the stars peered through. Once I made it to the dome, I set up shop and began surveying the area. The location lends itself to either wide angle or zoom lenses, so that’s what I stuck with.

The Morning Fire Detail photo was shot using my Nikkor 70-300mm. It’s not a fast lens by any means but it’s sharp and reliable.

I actually would have missed the shot if it weren’t for the little girl next to me. The sun was already rising well above the horizon and the orange glow had started to fade. I was photographing the distant peaks when the little girl next to me kept saying “OHHHHH PRETTTTYYY” to here mom. At first I dismissed her but when I looked down to where she was pointing, the sun was perfectly catching clouds as they passed over a ridge.

Here I was looking out over a sea of grey clouds and this bright gem of an orange spot was right below me. The glow only lasted a few moments before it too faded to grey.

I can’t say thanks enough to the little girl that was next to me. This is by far my favorite shot from that morning.

Photo Facts: ISO 100 | f/6.3 | 1/40 sec. (needs updated)


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All images © 2020 Jason Heritage Photography