Sunday, November 9, 2008

Crazy Hot Air Balloon

The other night just after the sun had set I looked out the large kitchen window, which gazes upon the Ottawa city green belt (natural tracks of land within the city boundaries), and the whole sky at first was a brilliant flaming RED.

It took a second or 2 to realize that a hot air balloon was just about to land a few hundred feet past my backyard.

I quickly screamed out to my wife “Look, Look” as I ran downstairs to grab my camera.

I ripped open my bag and as I race up I am already adjusting the iso to about 1,000 as it is already dusk and I knew there was not enough light to hand hold at slower iso.

I run out the back door and and take a few clicks as I am trying to get through the hedge. From the shutter sound I already know that this iso is not fast enough. Quickly crank it up to 6400 as I want to get a few shots as they are still applying the flame to turn the balloon for a proper deflate.

F5.6, iso 6,400, 1/60 sec at 170mm

Don’t ask me why I am not checking the shutter speed in the viewfinder but I guess panic takes over for common sense.

It is then I realize I am still in my stocking feet on the cold wet ground. Thank goodness that I have a vibration reduction lens because at that focal length and crop factor I should be shooting faster than 1/250 sec.

I went back inside to put some shoes on and as I am heading out again they are starting to deflate the balloon. I use a wider lens settings which gives me more light and I can now drop the iso 3200 for better noise control

iso 3200, f5.6, 1/8 sec, 44mm

The above shot I do manage to hand hold down to 1/8 sec and still remain sharp. But there were a few images which were quite blurry. The interesting thing about cameras is that for the second shot it is actually darker outside, but because of the longer shutter duration it appears a lot brighter than the first image. This is almost night photography as the first image actually represents the real darkness I saw, while I was taking these images.

Are there images of you as a Photographer?

One thing about photographers is that we do tend to have a lot of images but very few if any of ourselves.

During an Ottawa Camera club outing which I had organized late one cold November one of the members took an image of me taking a photo.

This is an old abandoned building and through the window above you can see one of the inner walls and a doorway, which makes the open window seem strange.

The object of my desire or attention is shown below.

The window frame was burnt and I love the textures and patterns created by the charred wood and the bright cloudy sky adding highlights to the edges.

Niels Henriksen

1 comment:

Anita Jesse said...

A very enjoyable post. Thank you for sharing the wonderful story of the hot air balloon adventure. I like very much the first shot, since it gives me a strong sense of the time. Well done.

The panic syndrome you mentioned is painfully familiar. I usually botch any opportunity at such moments.


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