“To Fight Fire” by Michael Finder

I was fortunate enough to spend some short time with a fire fighter recruit training course.  I approached the Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority to propose a photographic portfolio of a fire fighter recruit training course.

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Following protracted negotiations, access was granted and I was able to shoot some training events and the action of the training program.  My brief included that I was not to interfere with any training activity.  I soon learned to photograph without getting in the way. I was an outsider looking in.


There was a strong sense of the surreal during the photographic sessions.

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The  intertwining of fire fighting equipment, the feeling that time was irrelevant, the location could have been anywhere.


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Fire fighting is a serious and dangerous business and fire fighters constantly risk their personal safety for the safety of others. It’s a physically tough occupation requiring a high level of strength and endurance. A high degree of mental strength is also required. The training and procedures minimise the risks.

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Training is intense; a balance of theory and arduous practical exercises.  The professionalism and commitment stood out particularly the great reliance on team work and the role each member must undertake.

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This was a great opportunity to capture emotion, exhilaration, trepidation, self-reliance, the sense of teamwork, cooperation, and achievement.

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Physically tough…. requiring a high level of  strength and endurance2017-10-25_0005

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It was a privilege to have been granted access to this training program.  I am thankful that we have such dedicated people who serve in this way. I have great regard and admiration for these brave people.

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About Michael

Michael bought his first camera (a Ricoh Rangefinder) when he was 15 years of age. He has journeyed through 35mm rangefinder cameras to single lens reflex (slr) to medium and large format cameras.  He has worked professionally in both film and digital capture.


Michael maintains a full wet darkroom facility.  He enjoys shooting street photographs with  rangefinder cameras, portraits, and working with large format cameras. Michael is currently exploring alternative photography methods.

Blog: http://www.michaelfinder.com

Portraits: https://www.facebook.com/TakeGreatPhotoPortraits/

All images are the copyright Michael Finder & taken on Nikon FE2 & Nikon F70.  The images have been scanned from the original silver gelatin prints created by the author.

Contributor: All images used with permission for AFPS.blog by Michael Finder