Saturday, November 24, 2007

Burning Ambition

Eternal Flame Honours The Bravest Of The Brave

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON



This is the Eternal Flame at the Shrine of Remembrance on St Kilda Road here in Melbourne. With this week's theme being "Hot", I figured there aren't many things that emit more heat than this - and that I would be able to photograph up close. This flame has burned continuously since 1954.

I'm not sure how hot the flame is, but I could feel the intense heat even as I stood beside the metal railings. Have a look at the image (above) and you'll see the temperature is so high that the metal railings in the background have been endowed with a heat shimmer, like a desert mirage.


It was a hot, windy afternoon when I took these photographs. The breeze was really gusting and the flame was blowing wildly, first one side and then the other. It was impossible to take a pre-meditated shot of it, no matter how hard I tried. This was the first photograph I took and I was really pleased with how intense the orange is and how the flame was concentrated in one area.

But I wanted at least one frame with the flame filling the entire screen from left to right. It took a lot of patience and the photograph below was sheer luck. But I guess reverence and silent contemplation are natural in these surroundings.

87 comments:

Giles said...

wonderful hot choice for today's theme. great shots too!

Dorid said...

VERY cool! I love the way you captured the flames!

http://radula.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/photohunt-hot/

LadyBanana said...

Great photos of undeniable hot!

littlepolaris said...

Eternal flame...
very nice.

Carver said...

Those are beautiful shots and perfect for the theme. I hope you have a pleasant weekend.

Mike Goad said...

Nice choice. There's going to be lots of flames today.

Tammie said...

Your patience paid off. That's an great hot. I also like the flaming tornado below.

imac said...

You certainly know just how to capture a perfect photo David.
Love the flames and the 2nd one is
MAGNIFICO


pop over to see my new posts

-TNChick- said...

Awesome shot of those flames!! I picked your site for my pick of the hunt this week.

Corey~living and loving said...

Very nice David. I chose fire as well. :)
happy weekend!

SabineM said...

gorgeous photos!
I am always in a trance when there is a fire. I love to stare at it!

tegdirb92 said...

great capture and oh so hot!! Happy Saturday to you!

TopChamp said...

that's a fab picture - beautiful.

ellen b said...

Another great photo and a wonderful one for the theme. Happy hunting to you...

Hootin' Anni said...

This is terrific. And congrats on being Photo Hunt's site of the week.

Melli said...

Beauuuuutiful captures! Excellent idea for today's theme!

denz said...

wow! that's really hot...nice choice!!!

here is mine:
PhotoHunt1...
PhotoHunt2...
Happy weekend c",)

Jesieblogjourney said...

Great picture. Was it taken in Melbourne?

Mine is up too. Happy photo hunting.

compulsive writer said...

I was going to say that is so cool, but then I realized it's supposed to be hot.

Either way it's a great picture.

YTSL said...

Great photos -- inspired choice of subject matter and beautiful shots.

(On another note though: David, sorry but... how could your best movies of 2007 poll be limited to only English language ones? If so, shouldn't there be a qualifier there? And no, I'm not just being pc -- rather, I've seen quite a few non-English language movies that I reckon are far better than the best English language ones I've seen thus far (though "Zodiac" is a movie I'd rate pretty highly as well).)

BRUNO said...

Now here I'll go and ruin it with a tech-question! I wonder what they use for fuel? It almost has to be a gel of some sort, and there isn't any smoke, so that rules out the old "smudge-pot" gunk. Probably the same thing as is used in the eternal flame on our President Kennedys' tomb, which I'm uncertain of, as well.

The maintenance of such an icon of honor would have to be rated right up there with guarding the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. A responsibility, not just "a job"...

the teach said...

I think it must be hard to photograph flames like that.

An eternal flame always makes me feel a reverence and appreciation for the brave who fought for their country. Both my father and my nephew fought for theirs and mine (The US of A). :)

Loved Australia when I visited.

Queen of My Domain said...

Beautiful David. I really like the second one best with the entire frame in flames.

jmb said...

Two fabulous photos. Well done for the theme.

Alix said...

Wonderful photo

Secret Agent Mama said...

You've done it again. I love your photography and look forward to it every week!! I should really come by more often. :D

Sarge Charlie said...

those are excellent photos

Larry said...

your photos are brilliant - great choice for site of the week.

Valarie said...

Definitely HOT!! Excellent photos.

JC said...

Awesome shots... very well done!

Lori V. said...

Great shots... very intense. Don't you just love it when serendipity favors your difficult shots?

Mine's up... come visit!

http://lorivillarreal.typepad.com/do_you_realize/

Moosekahl said...

Never mind the heat produced by the fire...what power from the emotion it provokes. Thanks for sharing.

Leah said...

Very nice shot. I can imagine it being really hot. There is one similar to this in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I dont know if I can hunt that photo somewhere in my old albums. It is quite nice esp at night.

eastcoastlife said...

Wow! The fire's been burning for more than 50 years!!? I was in St Kilda in year 2003 but I didn't visit this Shrine.

Mar said...

Great choice for the theme and congrats on being site of the day/week!!
I love (controlled!) fire, your pics are an excellent composition, I admire your patience to get what you want !*wink*

Oswegan said...

For a minute there I thought you put a little too much lighter fluid on the barbi.

Nice post.

~Oswegan

genny said...

thats really hot like hell.. Good choice for this theme.

http://happymomiam.blogspot.com/2007/11/photo-hunters-hot.html

Natalie said...

That's an awesome choice!

My photo hunt picture is up. Come check it out if you get a chance. :)

PastorMac's Ann said...

Great choice for The Hunt this week. Terrific photos too. Congrats on being Site-of-the-Day

Lynn said...

Wow, your photos are perfect! The flame is so alive.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Great shots both, David. Show amazing feat of patience, too.

Cheers.

Le laquet said...

Beautiful photos of the eternal flame. Nice choice

Dragonheart said...

Wonderful photos of a very meaningful flame. Congratulations on being the site of the week!

My hot photo.

CRIZ LAI said...

Perseverance, patience, determination and luck are the source for a good photograph and you have just that born in you. Great job here David :)

farmingfriends said...

This is such an interesting post and the shots are amazing too. Sara from farmingfriends

david mcmahon said...

Hi Giles,

Thank you so much. The Shrine is always a special place.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Dorid,

Thank you very much. It was a bit of a challenge in such windy conditions!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi ladybanana,

It was definitely the hottest thing in Melbourne that I could think of.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

HI Little Polaris,

Thank you. It was great to get a decent picture in a place of such reverence and contemplation.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Carver,

Thank you so much. Thanks for visiting and I'm so glad you liked the shots.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Thank you, Mike,

I wanted to think of a shot that had a special significance.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Tammie,

Thank you very much. I was very fortunate that the wind favoured me.

I'm so glad you liked the flaming tornado picture as well. Another lucky shot - right place, right time.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Stuart,

Thank you very much. I liked the intense orange in the first shot, but yes, the second shot is my favourite.

Once again, my thanks

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi TNChick,

Wow - that is fantastic news, absolutely mind-boggling.

Thank you for picking my site and thank you for giving us a great Photo Hunt each week.

Once again, my very humble thanks.

Keep smiling

David

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

You've captured the dance of the flames nicely.
Impressive.
The Rocky Mountain Retreat

mott said...

wow..this is really beautiful!!!

here's my not-so-fiery version....hee hee

david mcmahon said...

Hi Corey,

And as you know by my comment on your blog, I think you did an amazing job.

You are very gifted.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Sabine,

Thank you. The Shrine is an amazing place. It's hard NOT to get a good photograph there!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi TopChamp,

Thank you very much. It was a pleasure to visit your blog too.

Do keep in touch.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Tegdirb,

It sure was hot. I could feel the heat even though I was outside the barrier.

Thank ou for your comment.

Keep smiling

David

Akelamalu said...

Great example of Hot David.

jennwa said...

Your photo is beautiful. Great pic for the theme.

Secret Agent Mama said...

Congrats on having the Site of the Day! You deserve it, too!!

Sue said...

Congratulations! AWesome shots! :)

Barbara H. said...

Wonderful post for today!

Suzi-k said...

eodpdhey, I've also been "alight" since 1954! Cool 'hot' pix.

imac said...

Hi, just to let you know canal post 2 is now up.

Roxy said...

Nice picture....makes me want to toast some marshmallows...:)

I forget it's summer down under. Portland is a cold wind and frosty temps. There's even snow on the mountain!

Nice blog, by the way...nice photography.

pat said...

WOW - the flames are so amazing in the photos. Great job!

Happy Weekend.

Misty Dawn said...

Awesome! I could definitely get lost in meditation staring at that flame.

Liza said...

Great choice for the hot theme! Thanks for sharing and congrats for being featured :)

Lucy Stern said...

I like the idea of an eternal flame. Thanks for the history lesson.

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

How interesting-great photos too!

Teena said...

Nice choice for today's theme :)

Mine's up too!

PowersTwinB said...

Your take on this weeks theme definately earned you site of the week! Great entry! My photo hunt is up please come and visit

Patty said...

Great photos. Love your work.

pinkjagxj said...

Awesome "HOT" photo! You truly are a talented photographer. I love taking photos however mine are just snapshots. My youngest son just spent 2 weeks on holiday in Australia. He loved it and had an incredible time.

rdl said...

Nice!!

KISSEDALOTATOADS said...

Amazing that the flame has been burning for the last 53 years. What a great tribute to all those who have passed through our world. Have a good weekend, and congrats on the site of the day.

i beati said...

This post is stellar in every way - loved it

Heather said...

Beautiful.

JO said...

wonderful choice for this week's theme!

**"Liza"** said...

Ohhh cool shot of the flames! that sure hot!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Beautiful shots. I'm guessing they pump in gas to keep it lit. Nice sentiment.

Katrin said...

Your pictures are amazing!

Crystal said...

Wow... amazing shots.

karoline said...

great shot david...i keep thinking how lucky you all are that live in the city...for such opportunistic shots are certainly not the norm out here in the boondocks...although...with -23c temperatures..i thank goodness for the eternal flame in my furnace..

;)
k

heh..the verification word this moment is pokehebu...rings a bell...;)