Friday, June 07, 2013

The Comanche, from the Other Side

Buena Vista, Colorado

The Comanche Drive-in Theater was a highlight of last year's road trip. I posted a morning shot here "from the road," back on June 27, before leaving town. I had  arrived the afternoon before. I'd immediately "seen" the perfect camera position for a 7x17 from the side of the road, looking north, that would require morning light. But the view looking the other way, south-by-east, from near the theater entry, was pretty interesting in the evening so I made a couple 8x10 negatives.

The conditions were strange. Buena Vista sits at just under 8,000 feet, but last summer's fierce heat wave made for afternoon and evening temperatures above 100°F—not at all normal for that elevation. The classic "Western sky" here is highly diffused by vast amounts of smoke blowing in from the wildfires burning everywhere around. Shortly after I made this exposure, fire-spotter crews arrived. They used the large open space of the theater's parking field to set up binoculars and telescopes on tripods in the beds of pickup trucks to scan 360° of the Buena Vista basin, trying to find any fires crossing over the mountains.

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