Prairie Burns/Firelines

Carpet of Ashes
Night Burn
The Great Bluff Plows through Fire
Fire Over Dusk
Twig Monster
Ferry Bluff, Minute 3
Prairieglyph #2
Prairieglyph #1
Silhouettes in Smoke and Water
Fairy Lights
Dancing Wisps
Veined Apparitions
Three Oaks Endure

As a lover of both art and science, the process  of photographing controlled burns has been a perfect fit,  enabling me to focus on the ephemeral nature of fire and smoke.  For more than 15 years I have been embedded with controlled burn teams across central and southern Wisconsin, which  resulted in more than  1000 large format black and white negatives.

The selection here, all available in my book Firelines, meets my goal which is to show the moment of transformation in the landscape.

William Howells in 1825, expressed my feeings well:

“The fire started in the dry leaves in the woods. When night came on and the wind settled with a prospect of rain, we felt no fear of danger, we found a compensation in the illumination we had, for every one of these dead trees stood out against the darkness like a giant candelabrum of most fantastic design, with the little tongues of flame starting from every point of the branches, looking as if it held a thousand tapers of varying size.  The fields were full of them and the scene was grandly fairy-like.”