I saw the smoke from across the city and went there hoping for a good photo. It wasn't until I snuck past the tape and got right up to the fire that I was able to get anything with my 18mm. I was looking for an intimate composition because I'm sick of seeing fires shot with 300mm lenses. I wanted to get right in there and I defied Detroit's finest to do so. The fact that the firefighter was smoking was just too much for me, even while taking the photo. It took some patience and a lot of sneaking not only to get this close but to also catch this ironic moment.
This image was taken on October 23rd, 2006, in southwest Detroit, Michigan.
This was shot at a focal length of 18mm at f5.6 to ensure the depth-of-field required to keep the fireman sharp as well as the scene behind him. There was plenty of available light so this image was done at ISO200 with a shutter speed of 1/1200 and no flash used. I used a Nikon D50 with a Sigma 18-50 f3.5-5.6 lens. Digital wouldn't normally be my first choice for street photography, but on this particular day, I did not have my film camera with me (because it is broken).
1. Channel Mixer > monochrome
2. Curves adjustment
3. Levels adjustment
Image has been saved at full size and resolution.
*CORRECTION: shutter speed was 1/250th*