• Photo: Matthew Ratajczak

    Florida Fire

    Florida might be known for its humidity, but in May 2009 the state's brushlands were desert dry when lightning strikes ignited wildfires near the Palm Beach suburb of Indiantown. Ratajczak, who was covering the fires for a local paper, captured this reconnaissance plane flying into the billowing smoke of an unnamed blaze. "The firefighters monitored that fire for a week," says Ratajczak, who shot thousands of images over three days. This one, taken from the yard of a church firefighters were protecting, is his favorite. "I love how the plane is dwarfed by the massive plume," says Ratajczak. THE TOOLS: Nikon D2X, 70-200 f/2.8 lens, f/5.6, 1/1,000 second
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