The Archives: Ansel Adams, 2002


I was sitting with my roommate at the kitchen table, putting off homework.  I had to turn in my proposal for my Junior Seminar class the next day, and had no idea what I might do.  I had to commit to the project for an entire semester, and thus far, had absolutely no ideas. 

I was lighting note cards on fire.  Watching the beauty of the flame dance across the card,  frantically blowing it out before it reached my fingertips. 

I'll photograph fire.  It was just that simple.  I saw something beautiful, something worth exploring, and I committed to working on it a year and a half.  This was the first "keeper" of the series, and also on the first roll of film that I shot for the series.  It also ended up being one of my favorites. 

I'm still in awe of how I did this- keep in mind that this was still the film days, and that my camera was from the early 80's, so it's not like I could just "spray and pray" as I lit each photograph on fire.  In the time between lighting it and shooting it, I had to adjust my shutter speed, manually focus, and then wait for the right moment.  Missed that perfect moment?  The perfect moment is now in a pile of ashes on patio. 

I'll continue posting work from this series throughout the next month.  Interested in purchasing a Throw Back Thursday print?  Contact me at


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