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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Eight: Light and shadow shape meaning > The Ring of Fire, Kamchatka, Russia, 2002
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The Ring of Fire, Kamchatka, Russia, 2002

I was photographing a range of Siberian volcanoes from the deck of a cruise ship at dusk. A seagull drifted alongside the ship, and when it entered my frame, I was able to capture it floating over the distant mountains. As much as this picture is about the moment, is also about light. A intense golden haze envelopes the horizon and the entire sky becomes luminous, filled with a variety of colors generated by the glowing evening light. I exposed for the sky, allowing the gull, sea, and mountains to become abstractions in shadow. This area of the Bering Sea is known as the "Ring of Fire". And so is my photograph.

Canon PowerShot G2
1/640s f/7.1 at 21.0mm full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
Phil Douglis30-Apr-2005 22:36
So you finally found this image, Ruth. I knew you would feel strongly about it, because of the role that freedom, or the lack of it, play in your own imaging. I am glad you reacted as you did to it. As for not seeing a particular image before, there are more than 600 pictures in this cyberbook, Ruth, and you can't measure their worth to you from the thumbnail. You must open each of them up and study them in detail. And that will take time, a lot of time, as well as thought. So take your time, enjoy, and learn. There's a lot more here for you to discover!
ruthemily30-Apr-2005 22:04
i thought it was land too. it looks like a beach. i was finding it hard to work out how you were on a cruise ship when you took the photo. sometimes i wish i could live in the sky. this picture speaks of such freedom, the bird is so weightlessly and effortlessly soaring through the sky. the colours are beautiful and the horizontal bands of cloud echo the birds outstretched wings. i can 't believe i didn't see this photo before. i love it.
Phil Douglis21-Sep-2004 21:15
I enjoyed your interpretation of this image, dR, because it gives me a new way to look at an old image. It seems so long ago that I was on the Bering Sea with Galen Rowell and Frans Lanting. You can see that they must have gotten into my head, because I have obviously gone beyond description here to create a wildlife image that to you, at least, has metaphorical connotations. Perhaps I really am a surrealist but am afraid to call myself one. Thanks, again.
Guest 21-Sep-2004 20:33

the sea at first glance looked to be land to me... and the bird to be almost prehistoric... the land looked to me a mountain ranged jutting out of great flat plains...

surreal image created here with the exposure and elements of the image... sky, earth, sea, and bird...

jacques Vic 10-Dec-2003 20:58
Attention chef d'oeuvre.Merci Monsieur P.Dougl (raccourci amical).J.V
Guest 28-Nov-2003 23:29
I agree, especially the last 'child at letter in the park'. Someone said: "Luck is when opportunity meets preparation".
Phil Douglis28-Nov-2003 20:49
Marek: Amazing images, all of them. Some would say you were lucky. I would say that you make your own luck by getting into a position to take advantage of such good fortune. Here are some links several other of my own photographs, where I "set the stage" and the "actors" appeared out of "nowhere" to bring meaning to the picture:

Guest 28-Nov-2003 14:01
I never doubted that -- these magical moments do happen. I've found that on a few occasions, when what I had thought of as the subject, magically became merely a stage for the real hero to appear out of nowhere. These are my best examples
All the world's a stage...
Phil Douglis28-Nov-2003 02:12
Ah, Mark, but it was true! And for a long while at that! That bird just hung there in the sky for me, almost as if it knew I was making its picture.
Guest 27-Nov-2003 22:43
It is almost unbelievably dream-like. The glow is hauntingly beautiful. The bird just too good to be true...
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