I had been thinking of heading to Yosemite to shoot the Rim Fire for a few days, but on the 11 o'clock news Tuesday night I heard that Tioga Road CA-120 with the best access would close at noon the next day! So I immediately packed up, headed out, and started shooting the Rim Fire a little after 3am. I shot until morning twilight, caught sunrise at Tenaya Lake, then returned home.

I ended up with six time-lapse clips, and set them to "The Time To Run by Dexter Britain (DexterBritain.co.uk).

Thanks in advance for comments, likes, Tweets, and Facebook shares.

Additional thoughts 8/30 - The video is understandably generating mixed reactions, since fire is understood to be an agent of renewal which many species rely on, but it's also a force bringing danger and destruction. I didn't set out to influence viewers in either direction.

There was little room for editorial influence on this short project. I had roughly two hours to shoot from two very limited viewpoints, and I shot with a variety of lenses and focal length from 30mm to 200mm. Even details like the colors were what they were... the first test frame showed both the tinted the starry sky the shade of blue that a half-full moon delivers, offset by the bright oranges and yellows of the fire (although I stabilized the white balance in an individual clip to prevent the camera from drifting as the fire changed, and somewhat across clips so they'd be compatible with each other).

The music choice was made quickly, without a lot of thought, but the scales and repetition work well for time-lapse video. Perhaps most appropriately it's reminiscent of the work of Phillip Glass in the time-lapse movie "Koyaanisqatsi", a movie which used time-lapse images to document the natural beauty of our planet if the first half, and aspects of human life in the second half. The title of the song "The Time To Run" was accidentally fitting in that it's what most creatures appropriately do when faced with fire, perhaps slightly ironic in that it's what we are challenged to do in modern culture which has introduced the concept of ownership of land and the accumulation of more goods than we can carry on it. We've surrendered our ability to simply get out of the way of the fires which do and will happen in this forest. We view ourselves as on this earth, but not of it and within its full range of natural processes. Fires challenge that world view, and the notion that we are in control, to a degree that is justifiably terrifying. My thoughts and sympathy goes out to the people who have been affected by this fire, and to those who remain threatened as the full scope of this event plays out in the coming weeks.

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