Sometimes Just The Sky


Dawn balloon lift off from 4th Street, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This one. This picture. The best picture that I’ve ever made of the balloon fiesta. It’s the one I told you about. I was late to the liftoff because of accidents on I-25, so I worked my way through the backstreets and came to this place on 4th Street.

I thought I was in the worst possible place. Shows you what I know.

I had to pass through a gate that lead me to a bunch of transmission towers. Once I got clear of them this was my view.

There is a giant take away from this. Never, ever give up. It would have been easy to go back home, have another cup of coffee, some breakfast and go back to bed.

What would be the fun in that?

Once I recovered from the emotional high of finding this scene and making the picture, I started thinking clearly and started chasing individual balloons as they split off from the main group.

Eventually, I made my way home where i did have that cup of coffee, had some breakfast and started working on my new pictures.

Stay Safe. Stay mighty. Wear your masks. Enjoy every donut.

Some technical picture stuff. A number of you have asked in the past, and again on other social media for technical tips.

I’m not the biggest photo tech guy in the world. But, I can tell you what went into individual pictures.

The first thing to talk about is ISO. I usually work at the lowest native ISO, which means for this picture ISO 100.

Next we come to aperture and shutter speed. I cheat a little here especially with lighting like this.

I set the aperture, usually to f5.6 and let the shutter speed fall where it may. But, knowing I wanted front to back sharpness, I set the aperture at f16. Normally, the shutter speed would be way too slow. But, not when you are shooting pretty much directly into the sun.

When I’m chasing around like I was, I usually use an all purpose travel lens which is a 28-200mm/ f4 / f5.6 piece of glass.

I had the time to switch to a 20mm lens, while I was walking through the field. That’s why the picture has such an all encompassing feel.

A 20mm lens set at f16 and everything is a sharp as it can be.

Very little post production was needed. I’d have to look at the RAW file, but I’m willing to bet I just lightened the shadows a bit.

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