Amazing

By David Keane

A mum-of-three who caught this stunning image of a perfect phoenix’s head rising from flames has revealed she took more than 5,000 pictures a week in a bid to capture chance shapes.

Julie Redman, 52, always makes her husband wait when he has a fire so that she can be there to take 900 or more photos of the flames every time in the hope of catching an unusual shape.

Her patience paid off when she caught a flame shaped like the head of a phoenix, complete with slender neck, beady eye, feathers, and a perfectly-formed beak.

Julie, from Tickenham, North Somerset, said: “It was a shock to see it so clear with the shape of the beak and the eye that the fire created. It felt like it was just the right place at the right time.

“It’s really strange. It looks so much like a bird or a phoenix, it’s quite unbelievable.

PIC BY JULIE REDMAN/MERCURY PRESS

“I have been accused of using Photoshop but I don’t think I could if I wanted. I don’t even have that programme. I don’t think someone can manipulate something that way.

“We have a fire about once a month to burn old papers that have sensitive information on. I have to tell my husband to wait to do it so that I can be there.

“I often hear him shouting me saying he’s about to have a fire and he’ll wait for me to run down with my camera as he knows I like to get photos of the flames.

“Some people see a parrot or as cockatiel. It’s definitely the perfect shape of a bird. It’s like the phoenix from the flames.”

The amateur photographer takes up to 5,000 photos every week of fires, clouds, and the sky in the hope of catching unusual shapes forming at random.

It’s not the first bizarre shape that Julie has captured, as her photo of clouds in the shape of King Kong coughing went viral last year.

Julie said: “I take around 900 pictures when we have a fire to see what I can get. I take as many as possible to increase the likelihood of capturing something.

“This is probably one of the best I have caught for something like this.

PIC BY JULIE REDMAN/MERCURY PRESS

“I have had dragons appear in the flames quite often and even a wizard juggling. I see lots of things in the shapes of flames, the same as I see shapes in clouds too.

“I take thousands every week. Lately it’s been 5,000 or more a week. It depends on the weather and how many clouds are about.

“Most of my friends who take photographs try to get pictures of wildlife but I prefer to do something a bit different.

“I see landscape pictures all the time but things like this in fire or clouds are different and that appeals to me.

PIC BY JULIE REDMAN/MERCURY PRESS

“It’s quite a long process after I’ve taken the pictures as I have to go through hundreds and hundreds to see if any have anything interesting in them, any unusual shapes or something I recognise. If I find something I put them online to see what people think of them.

“I don’t usually name pictures as I like to see what others see when I post them online. A name would tell people what to see and be suggestive, whereas I like to see what they see in it.”