Backlit Smoke


I was driving near sunset the other day and saw this billowing smokestack. The sun was at just the right angle to cast a beautiful pinkish purplish glow to the smoke. I pulled over as I neared, into an abandoned car lot. I was in Lafayette, a city that I have driven through many times, but am not that familiar with. I was not certain how much further the plant was, or if there was anyplace off of the highway that I would be able to park. Since the sun was nearly down, I decided to take the shot from a distance.

Lavender Smoke Cloud

The low winter grey snow sky had taken on an eerie yellow cast (although I don’t think I captured it exactly in this photo). The smoke had the pink-lavender tones as I drove down IN-52 for about three miles. After I took this photograph, I continued down the highway towards the plant. About another mile, there was a much better place to take the photograph, without the obstruction of street lights and low hanging wires across the intersection. But, the sun had already set, the light changed, and the smoke was back to the industrial grey output that it always is.

Grey, Most Days

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8 responses to “Backlit Smoke

  1. I never knew that it was Dickens and not Hendrix!

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  3. I think all of life would feel a little better if smoke was purple. 😉
    Of course all of life would probably be better if there was no smoke at all.
    At any rate – I do like these type of photos. Keep up the great work.

    • Perhaps it would be better, but I don’t think even with it purple, this pollutant would induce anybody to say “Excuse me while I kiss the sky”.

      I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I didn’t think of Purple Haze either when I took this picture or when I wrote this post.

      BTW, Wikipedia claims that the first known use of the phrase Purple Haze was used by Dickens in 1861 in Great Expectations, chapter 54: “There was the red sun, on the low level of the shore, in a purple haze, fast deepening into black…” Perhaps more apropos to this post…. 🙂