“I hope to still have a house after this weekend.” These are the confronting, painfully real words my friend said to me last night as he evacuated his family to Sydney, with fires closing in around his house from every direction. These images show just how bad it is.
It’s rather surreal for me watching these fires in Australia, because I know so many of the areas being devastated. These bushfires are the worst in Australia’s history, and they have been burning for more than three months, if you can actually believe that. Over five million hectares of land have already been destroyed, along with homes, lives, livestock, and all kinds of animals. To put that in perspective, the entire island of Kyushu, Japan, where I live now, is 3.7 million hectares in total. Miyazaki, my prefecture (state) in Kyushu, is 773,000 hectares. Australia’s entire Defence Force has been deployed to help.
The fire is still raging as of early January and is only predicted to get worse, as February is typically the worst month. As these fires have wreaked havoc across Australia, photographers from the Sydney Morning Herald have captured some amazing images that give you a glimpse into just how catastrophic they have been. What’s most interesting from a photography perspective is that when you look at these images, you don’t care the slightest bit whether they were taken with a DSLR or a mirrorless camera or whether there is a little bit of digital noise or not. These 75 images tell stories, and sometimes, I think we get far too caught up in technical aspects of image quality, when at the heart of things, images will always be about storytelling, in my opinion.
Please take a look and spare a few thoughts for the people down under currently suffering.