Fall 2023 Best of Web – Monica Luebke

Fall 2023 Best of Web – Monica Luebke

This image depicts a US Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician (AST) utilizing a red flare while floating in the water. These red flares indicate a sign of distress and alert fellow mariners and aviation units that help is needed immediately. The wind highly dictates the flow of the smoke and therefore the effectiveness of this distress signaling technique by dictating the source and point location that requires assistance. Handheld flares typically burn (combust) for approximately one minute in length at a luminosity of around 15,000 candelas. They are designed to be seen at approximately five miles in range along the horizon and no more than approximately 250 vertical feet pending visibility ranges. This image captured my attention at the aggressive contrast between the red smoke flare and the ambiance of the water in the foreground. I really liked the artistry of the image as it brings attention to the hazards and the uncertainties of life out on the water.

Picture Credit: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann at a search and rescue forum in Hampton, VA on March 3, 2022. Survival Flare (defense.gov)

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Kenny Olavarria
    Sep 11, 2023 15:02

    Second prize – I absolutely love the contrast between the thick dark red smoke and the horizon/water.

  • Zach Turner
    Sep 9, 2023 13:54

    First Prize
    The diffusion of the smoke across the frame not only demonstrates fluid mechanics but provides a captivating subject.


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