The rise of the phoenix

The rise of the phoenix
The rise of the phoenix explanation

Some people like to find hidden figures in the clouds…
I enjoy doing it on the fire, in a blink that lasts less than a millisecond.


Today’s picture came about as a game. Last Easter I was with some friends doing a barbeque at night and, while we were waiting for the embers to be ready, I started playing with the camera. Fire is usually seen as a continuum, a changing abstract form without a specific shape. But being very bright it also becomes the perfect subject to experiment with very high shutter speeds. So, after increasing the speed time after time, I came to the realization that in many pictures you can get a very nice and specific picture of the of the flames’ shape. And at that moment I started to see familiar figures and stories in the fire, in the same way some people like to see them in the clouds. I became a kind of oracle reading the flames instead of the tea grounds or the crystal ball.

In this picture I caught a phoenix, the mythological bird (I guess in the same way as Pokemon can be caught), being born in the flames. It is shown from the front side, looking directly at the camera with its right eye and the wings raised. This shape only existed for an instant, half of a millisecond, but just the exact instant the shutter of my camera was exposed (lucky me!). And this way, the birth of this mythological creature was captured just to be devoured by the fire one moment afterwards.

Ok… Perhaps you need a little bit of imagination to see it (that’s why I added the explanation image). But I think that not all pictures need to be serious. Sometimes, the key to a good picture is just setting the mind free and play. Experimenting just to see what happens.

Now, I wonder… Does everybody see the phoenix? Does anyone see another thing? Does people see this as amusing as I do, or am I the only weirdo that enjoy this? I have more pictures like this one, with other stories (although not as clear as this one). I guess someday I might release another one.

May the fire be with you… and your steak (vegetarian? try calçots).


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