Guest Post: Ring of Fire

Today’s guest post is by David Bain:
I took the photo along a cliffside during a traditional Balinese ceremony right after sunset. It is too dark to see the cliff in the background of the picture, but the light from the fire and people’s smartphones is bright and contrasting. Nearly every single viewer is observing the ceremony through a smartphone or camera creating a technological gaze.

Ring of Fire

Red Stairs Over the Laundry Room

Capturing pictures of the everyday and mundane details of living in a place as odd as Berkeley’s Normandy Village means that I can look back to the little details. This maroon fire escape served as the back door to our apartment, but also easy access to the shared laundry room—and thus a route I frequently traversed, trying to find a time when the machines were free.

Red Stairs Over the Laundry Room

Burn Demon(stration)

Fire gains an unearthly, extra-sinister quality when HDR reveals the true extent of its tempestuous geometry. (The convenient “Office Burn Demonstration” cropping only added to the effect.) Knowing intellectually what a fire at work can do is very different from seeing the full effect, and I have to admit that I found the example presented by Canton’s fire department to be chillingly effective. (Pardon the temperature puns.)

Burn Demon(stration)

Ribeye Pyrotechnics

Christmas in the Hill household used to mean a big roast. This year, though, the allure of a perfectly-marbled ribeye overcame us, and we fired up the grill on a 20-degree Chicago evening. The flying sparks from the drippings were really captured in the HDR shot. There’s always something particularly strange and foreign in the quickly-varying flames when different brackets are composited together.

Ribeye Pyrotechnics