The photos and photographers of Pillars of Smoke

The photographers of provided me with a great collection of photos for Frasier Armitage’s “Pillars of Smoke,” a Sci Fi story set on the planet called The Globe.

Let’s start with the logo for The Globe stories. I had to crop it quite a bit, which should probably be a crime. I committed it in international space, so I think I’m safe. But I do apologize to the artist. Then I added the text. Here is the original, unaltered photo in all its glory.

Orbs of the Multiverse by Daniel Olah.

Breathtaking, right?

If I understand this correctly, Daniel created this beautiful image by mixing soap and oil. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but I’m no artist. This piece, Orbs of the Multiverse, is from his new Soap & Oil Planet series. To my eyes, it looks exactly like a planet floating in space, and I love his title for the piece. So I chose this image to represent the beautiful, blue planet of The Globe.

Daniel is a freelance photographer. You can find his nature and landscape images at You can also find his work at and

Blue Mountain Folds

Mist rising between blue mountain ridges
This photo represents the mountains of Belmont, the northernmost city on The Globe. Photo by Sebastian Bjune.

Paul Gilmore took this dreamy photo of misty, blue mountains in the Brandenburg Alps in Austria. He titled it “Blue Mountain Folds,” showing he can take a great photo and also turn a phrase.

Paul is a visual designer by day and a content creator by night. A true Renaissance man, he creates photography, film, and music content. Paul was born and bred in Greece but lives in Austria.

Molten Lake

Bodies piled out, past the molten lake. Its liquid fire flowed from the Pillars of Belmont where a pneumatic kiln smelted ore in a river of purified iron. Photo by Ian Stauffer.

I chose this photo to represent the molten lake inside the mountain where Lorenzo and his family live. But this is actually a photo of a Hawaiian volcano taken by Ian Stauffer.

Here’s how Ian described the experience of capturing this photo in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park:

“After exploring much of the Big Island, visiting the volcano was the last thing on my bucket list. Even while we were still several miles away we began to see the glow of the volcano and when we reached the opening our minds were blown.”

Ian is an adventure photographer. You can follow him here:

Silhouette of Mountains

“There is more to the world than smoke and mist, father.” Photo by Thomas Tixtaaz.

Thomas Tixtaaz took this photo, which he titled “Silhouette of Mountains Covered by Fogs.” It perfectly represents the mix of natural fogs and smoke from Belmont’s coal and iron operations.

Thomas’s photos of animals, mountains and the outdoors can be found at and at

Fiery Kiln

“The world is a kiln. It forges us in its flames.”
Photo by Viviane Okubo.

I could not find very many photographs of kilns, so I’m very grateful that Viviane Okubo, a Brazilian amateur photographer, captured this great, fiery shot of a kiln in Brumadinho, Brazil.

Viviane’s animal, mountain, and urban photos can be found at You can also learn more about her at

Misty Mountain Layers

Mist blanketed everything, yet his eyes had never been clearer. Photo by Jackson Hendry.

Jackson Hendry of Salt Lake City captured this great photo from the summit of the Pfeifferhorn in the United States. Here is how Jackson explains how he captured the shot:

“It had been a busy wildfire season and recent burns created a stunning view of mountain layers at the summit of the Pfeifferhorn. The hike includes scrambling the ridge seen in the lower right to gain the summit.”

This photo provided the perfect misty, smoky mountain-feel of Belmont. I also love Jackson’s work and this is the second time I’ve used one of his photos on this website. In fact, his photo of a starry sky over Lost Lake represented Lake Avon in my February Contest story “The Secret War.” It was the featured photo.

Jackson’s interests include beach images, outdoor photography, adventure, star images, and astronomy. His work can be found at

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