Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sfumato

From dictionary.com:
"sfu·ma·to: the subtle and minute gradation of tone and color used to blur or veil the contours of a form in painting." The word originates from the Italian, sfumare, "to gradate tone or color," which itself originates from fumare, "to smoke."

The fire in Sierra Madre, officially known as the Santa Anita Wildland Fire, is now 100% contained. But you can't contain the smoke.

We don't smell it anymore, and when we're in it we don't see it. But when you drive in to Pasadena you see it hanging over the San Gabriel Valley, backed up against the mountains, waiting for wind or rain to clear it out. I don't think we're going to have much wind soon, and surely we won't have rain. But time will take it away. Meanwhile, it softens the views on the Sunset Fire Road.

14 comments:

Jim said...

I thought sfumato was going to be initials for something, like FUBAR or something like that. The smoke does blur the scenery, hopefully everything will not be brown from no rain when its gone.

Ineke said...

Great photo.

Katie said...

What a perfect photo to introduce us to the term sfumato! I had no idea it originated from "to smoke". Not that you want more fires in order to be able to capture great photos like this. Looks like mist or very light fog in the valley at first glance. Glad to hear the fire is 100% contained!

marley said...

What a great photo! Its a shame its smoke in the air and not a morning mist. Hope not to much area has been destroyed.

Abraham Lincoln said...

The smoke looks like morning haze in the Smokies or fog in the Shenandoah Valley. The photo you posted in beautiful.

Bibi said...

I agree with Abe! Sorry about all the smoke, but the photo is gorgeous; I'm just imagining it's early morning haze, too!

Petrea said...

Jim, it'll be brown, that's natural for our desert climate. But we have a vast palette of beautiful browns!

Thanks, Ineke.

I hadn't thought of the word's origin before I looked it up last night, Katie. Makes sense, doesn't it!

Thanks, Marley. It's a mix of smoke and haze. Smog, literally. Hate to say it, but it's true. Smoke+Fog=Smog.

Thanks, Abe. I haven't been to the Smokies or the Shenandoah Valley but I know they're lovely. The San Gabriel mountains are beautiful, too, so I'm glad I could capture a pretty image.

It's a sunset image, though (sorry to disappoint you, Bibi!)

babooshka said...

A new word learnt and a new area to view. Have to agree the photo is rather special, albeit due to unfortunate circumstances. It has been said that Monet may not have been an impressionst painter had it not been for Krakatoa erupting, depositng particles. I often wonder wether my stunnng sunsets, are down to my steady hand or pollluton.

It's a beautiful dreamy image, quite captivating.

Bernie K. said...

I wrote this email headline for all my female friends:

"Santa Anita Fire 100% Surrounded by Cute, Sweaty Firefighters."

Some folks maintain that Leonardo, that master of atmospheric effect (La Gioconda, q.v.) would understand and approve …

Petrea said...

Thanks, Babooshka. It's an interesting point. I understand Munch's "The Scream," painted in 1883, was also influenced by Krakatoa, which blew up that year.

Bernie K., I went to Sierra Madre to view the firefighters--er, the fire--and they were indeed cute and sweaty. I mean the fire wasn't cute. The firefighters--I mean, well, anyway, you're right as usual.

Bernie K. said...

I mean, all those muscular guys, hosing off, shirtless in boots & buckles … it's just too much for a lonely taxpayer!

Petrea said...

Really? The ones I saw had their shirts on! I went to the wrong fire!

Lily Hydrangea said...

The leaves on the center trees look golden when I clicked on the photo making it larger. What a pretty scene. Thanks Petrea!

Petrea said...

You're welcome, Lily. Thank *you*!