IT'S been interesting to see what the fiery light cast by this summer of bushfires has illuminated in our state and federal politicians.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as noted by more than one commentator, has been much diminished by the crisis.
The Hawaiian holiday, of course, was ill-advised, as was his defensiveness about it, but it's been more than that. Mr Morrison seemed about four steps behind for the duration.
He was sympathetic - but a week or so after the public was expecting it. He was authoritative and take-charge - but, again, about a week after he needed be.
It was as if he was receiving delayed coverage of the bushfires unfolding, reacting swiftly to the situation as it was some time ago and wondering why the exasperation and frustration from the public.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, in contrast, has had some of her better qualities thrown into sharp relief.
Conscientious, serious, unshowy, she has been at the head of the state's response to this disaster, but somehow - and in an appropriate way - apart from it.
Ms Berejiklian recognised that it was NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons' skills and leadership that were needed at the height of the crisis.
To see the premier deferring to Mr Fitzsimmons at press conferences was refreshing and it felt right. But it was also rare - not every politician would be able to put their ego to one side in such a way.
NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott has been mostly invisible - possibly because he was on a long-delayed European family holiday for part of the time.
And Andrew Constance is the most curious case of all.
The combative, sharp-edged NSW Transport Minister hasn't looked any less combative and sharp-edged during the fires that have wreaked havoc in his South Coast electorate.
But where he has previously run the risk of coming across as petulant or just plain snarky, he's looked more passionate and protective in the past fortnight.
It was no small thing for Mr Constance to say the PM got "the welcome he probably deserved" from angry locals in Cobargo.
And it was no small thing for Ms Berejiklian to stand by her minister.
It's funny what's revealed in a crisis. And what you notice for the first time, even though it's been there all along.