I went to the hot air balloon festival that’s held annually just up the road from where I live. Last year it was rained out and I was greatly disappointed since I had shot it in 2010 and got some great images considering I was really still just starting out at that point. I went both Friday night for the balloon glow (they tether the balloons and fire the propane burners to light up the balloon) and fireworks as well as Saturday morning for the first launch. I was wonderfully excited for this year as I had a monopod to steady myself with and wouldn’t have the bother of finding space for the tripod again, luck would have it my monopod broke the past Saturday. It was more crowded this year and a lot of the shots I took were ruined by people walking in front of me or just generally in the scenes so I shot a lot of images between the two days – a lot of images, over 500 actually. The most I’ve shot in a long time, some of them were wasted five shot exposures for stitching to make high dynamic range attempts; one or more of the frames ruined by people walking through the image. Some were just poor timing on catching the balloons glowing, the bursts only last a few seconds and the same went for timing on the fireworks. Excuses, excuses, excuses. In the end I only ended up with about a third of the images from each day that are viable and that was after quite a bit of post-processing, the skies both days were mostly hazy and dull. I did learn however my camera catches a better dynamic range than I thought, it just takes some editing magic to show it all.
On to images: (more of them in the gallery if you click here)
Don’t forget, click here for more images.