Glowing, Glowing, Gone
Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON
I took this shot on Monday night. You're thinking last embers of dusk, right? Nope. Think again. This red glow suffused the sky more than five hours after sunset. I went outside to put the garbage bin ("trash" to most of you) on the nature strip to be collected early the next morning.
As I always do, I swivelled around to check out the sky, but I couldn't see any stars because there was a light fog. But in the north-west there was an eerie red glow. It stretched perceptibly for a ninety-degree arc, but only half of that arc was really disinct.
As you can imagine, I abandoned the bin, raced inside to get my camera and quickly found a vantage point on the street to shoot the sight, lest the glow vanish. I shot a couple of frames very quicly, using the bare branches of a tree to provide some perspective.
Then I used a roof line for this shot, and I took this standing on a sharp incline. This frame was taken without a tripod, at F4.5, exposure time of one second and ISO speed 800. In a few minutes the red glow had faded, but it was still apparent for the next hour or so.
Despite the fact that I hadn't heard sirens, I drove up the hill to see if there was a fire anywhere, but there was nothing. I've never seen a glow like this before and I wonder if it was caused by atmospheric conditions. Anyone got a theory?