University of New Mexico and New Mexico State have a rivalry called the Rio Grande Rivalry. To prepare for that big in-state collegiate football matchup, UNM holds the Red Rally where a towering NMS Aggie mascot gets burned, and burned for a long time!
One of the benefits of Jessica being a UNM PhD candidate is I get to go to college campus events like this one again! It has been a long time since I graduated from University of South Florida and we did not even have a football team until my final years of grad school so no rivalries to be had.
There was a large student body turnout surrounding the Aggie watching it burn, and burn, and burn. I thought it would burn for a minute then die down, but somehow it continued for 5+ minutes to the point where glowing ash was falling on clothes and even worse almost my new Nikon D750!
Walking a way I switched to manual focus to try and create a more abstract shot of the pep really. Looking to frame people in the fire as silhouettes took a few attempts until I got the image I wanted. Contrasting the centered figure in the fire in the background with the figure in the right foreground was a lucky composition plus for adding depth and story to the image.