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You’ll have to appeal to a lot of people as you advocate against wood burning. A few sharp, compelling photos will help to make your case. Start with the camera in your pocket – the iPhone takes a great photo, but consider it as more of a scouting photo which will remind you where to go back to with a bigger camera.

Your going to need:

  • A tripod, which will make for a crisp image with a sharp focus.
  • A zoom lens, so you can fill the frame with the chimney, bonfire or wood boiler in question.
  • Use your phone to take a screenshot of the map, so you know where you’ve been, in case you want to return.

Last time I went out I was so excited about the great perspective I had found – the chimney smoke wafting right into the trees behind the house – that I forgot to make note of where I was. Maybe you’re only focusing on your neighbor next door, but you’ll soon meet up with others who are suffering at different locales across town. You’ll want to return to some of these favorite spots under differing weather conditions to perfect your photo documentary.

Try these techniques:

  • Get a clear shot – a picture shot through tree branches or lots of electrical lines just won’t have the impact you wish for.
  • Circle your subject – shoot from several angles. I’m often surprised to discover the view from another angle looks more dramatic.
  • Shoot early morning and at sunset for the best light.
  • Put a tree behind that chimney for high contrast.
  • Use the Rule of Thirds to emphasize your subject.

Apply a pithy caption then print them 8×10 glossy.

Shoot from above with Google Maps; subscribe to the Pro version to draw circles around the problem.

Shoot HD video at 1080p – all today’s cameras can – use a tripod

Hire a pro: I recently found a drone photographer who can capture the smoke rising above a chimney.

Don’t be shy – if your subject complains, but you’re not on his property then too bad for him. If your subject is out in public, like on a public beach, there’s no restrictions on what you can shoot.

Lastly, create a PowerPoint slideshow with all your best photos. Show it to anyone who’ll sit still for 10 minutes.

Burning pallets adds to the toxicity
Burning pallets adds to the toxicity
Rule of thirds
Rule of thirds
Where was I when I shot this?
Where was I when I shot this?
Follow the firewood truck
Follow the firewood truck
Don't want to run out apparently
Don't want to run out apparently
Apply a pithy caption then print them 8×10 glossy
Apply a pithy caption then print them 8×10 glossy
500 seems like too many
500 seems like too many
Make your case with a map view
Make your case with a map view
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