Intorno al fuoco

To start the New Year, I’d love to share another photo, this time an old favourite of mine. This image has served as my backdrop on my laptop for a few years now, and those who follow my Intorno al fuoco posts, here or on Facebook, will be familiar with it too. It’s perhaps the picture that best captures my link with scouting.

I took this picture in the summer of 2012, at camp with my scout troop (Reparto Rigel, AGESCI Roma 14), somewhere in the woods at Lecce nei Marsi, in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. Each evening, we gathered round the campfire for songs and games, and to keep warm – well evenings in the mountains can get rather chilly even in July. Camera in hand, I wanted to try and capture something of the magic of the moment.

The picture evokes for me plenty of memories: the sound of the crackling wood, the warmth, the sweet smell of campfire, the friendship and conversations shared, especially once the younger scouts are off to their tents, and leaders sit round the campfire to debrief and unwind. But also the joy, now, of seeing these kids grow up … and some even joining us as leaders, so the circle goes on.

I generally won’t comment on the technical details, but this one deserves a mention. Often, during the day, I took pictures using the Program (P) option on my Canon EOS400D – very much a point and shoot. In the dark, however, such option didn’t cope too well. So, I went full manual: set the ISO at 1600, zoomed out to 18mm, opened to f/3.5 and then took this with 1/2 second exposure. No tripod. No extra lights. The glow of the campfire then did its magic.