The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is on right now, and it is truly one of the more joyous man-made phenomenon to shoot: hundreds of balloons of all shapes and colors from over 50 countries over a 200-acre area.
But as much fun as they are flying, even more fun for an experimental photographer is seeing them at night during a “balloon glow.” After the sun sets, the pilots inflate the balloons (but keep them on the ground); the flames that generate the hot air also illuminate the balloons from inside.
And, even more fun than a balloon glow, is setting your camera to very long exposure times and experimenting with different camera movements.
The images at the bottom of this post are full-frame and unretouched; they were shot by my wife Trish and myself at the Fiesta in 2006 with a Canon 10D plus their stock 24-70mm lens, 400 ISO, aperture settings between 4.5 and 5.6, and with exposure times ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 seconds. The image here at left had an exposure time of 6.0 seconds.
(all images above copyright 2006 by Chris & Trish Meyer)
Image at left by Chris Bartle
By the way: What originally prompted me to post these is not just that this year's Fiesta is currently on; it was a series of blog posts about photographers who take long exposure shots of their Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaners; the image at left by Chris Bartle is an example. Make sure you check out their Flickr group.
Our photographs and artwork, as well as content contained in our books, videos, blogs, and articles for other sites are all copyright Crish Design, except where otherwise attributed. Other examples of my mixed media work may be found on my artist web site.