sun through smoke xmas 2001

sun through smoke xmas 2001: enmore: sydneyTo days later, December 27th, and this was sunset. Yup, that’s bushfire smoke making the sky look like that. Thick enough that you could look at the sun as a discreet, hard edged disc with no discomfort at all.

xmas smoke layer

xmas smoke layer: mosman: sydneySo here’s a photo from my mother’s apartment. You can see the Harbour Bridge near the centre, and off to the left in a gap between the trees, a city building. The North Sydney skyline is to the right of the harbour bridge, and above it, the layer of smoke.

xmas 2001 skyline

xmas 2001 skyline: sydney harbourAnd here we go, the money shot.

On the right North Sydney, in the centre the Sydney Harbour Bridge, to the left the Opera House, and behind it, the city. Just to give you an idea of the amazing scale of this, and remember, it’s all smoke. The lighting was amazing too, that’s a pretty accurate image of the light gradient at the time.

xmas 2001 bushfire smoke

xmas 2001 bushfire smoke: sydney harbourOn Xmas day in 2001 there were huge bushfires in Sydney’s outer western suburbs. As you can see in a later pic, the sky was solid smoke over my house. It was really eery. I’ve had worse. The first place I moved to had fires so close there were huge pieces of smouldering debris falling in the front yard.

But anyway on Xmas day I caught a ferry across the harbour to my mother’s place in the north east of Sydney. This was on the ferry trip over.

sunset and stormclouds 3

sunset and stormclouds 3: enmore: sydneyMore of teh pretty. I always find it interesting to look at pictures like this, the light hitting those clouds is actually coming at them from an angle below them. The geometry of the situation really impresses me.

sunset and stormclouds 2

sunset and stormclouds 2: enmore: sydneyThe structure of the underside of a cloud layer is so interesting, if you look really hard just off centre there’s a passenger aeroplane flying along.

I use a lot of these images as reference, or even as sky backgrounds in my comics.

sunset and stormclouds 1

sunset and stormclouds: enmore: sydneyIt really helped that the deck of the Enmore house faced west, so you could get these sort of sunsets on stormy days. The light there reflecting up off the underside of the clouds. It really looks like something apocalyptic is happening off in the distance.

clouds and blue

blue sky and clouds: enmore: sydneyThis was one of those amazing moments when light, shadow and colour all combine just so. All the shadows on the clouds match the background sky so well, they look somewhat unreal.

silhouette framed cloud

silhouette framed cloud: enmore: sydneyMore experiments with framing clouds with silhouetted foreground objects. I really miss that house. Aside from the deck, and the expanse of sky it offered, there was an avocado tree in the backyard which produced the most richly flavoured fruit I’ve ever had.

clouds and torn wire

clouds and torn wire: enmore: sydneyAhh, the beautiful freedom of clouds, through a tear in the wire. If you look really hard you can see unicorns frolicking and farting rainbows as well.