Friday, January 24, 2014

Cameras and Camping at Bluff Hot Air Balloon Festival

Give a sense of place in your photos

Tell a story with your subjects.

Compression of space: a lesson in using longer lenses.
I teach Photography.  Most of the participants in my workshops have always wanted to learn photography.  Many students are retired and some want to learn a skill for a second career.  Many talk of being ready to devote the time, energy and commitment to their photo education.  On workshops and private lessons, we have a mix of beginners, intermediate and advanced photographers. What all students have in common is the desire to create beautiful images and to learn to use their digital cameras and lenses properly.

Balloon Photography Lessons:

  • Choosing the right lens for the job, i.e. compression of space, wide view, details.
  • Storytelling
  • A sense of place.
  • Proper exposure, shutter speed and ISO for moving subjects
  • Proper choice of aperture for emphasis
  • Working with the "star of the show" and the "supporting cast".
  • Working with challenging light, sunrise, sunset, night photos
  • Tripod or no, tethered or not.

Cameras and Camping

This past weekend we all met in Bluff, Utah for the Annual Bluff Balloon Festival.  I set up my travel trailer at the Cadillac Ranch RV Park in Bluff, it was full, as were all of the accommodations in Bluff. But Diana (Cadillac Ranch) made sure that folks could boondock if necessary so they were not without a site.  Students stayed in a nearby motel. The class arrived at my camper for pre-sunrise breakfast, and coffee.  At that time we gathered around my dinette and planned the day, discussing basic camera settings to get started.  We left camp at around 8am, as the balloons launch close to sunrise and sunset.

Later in the day, I taught the grand landscape and photographing in harsh light at Muley Point at the top of the Moqui Dugway on Hwy 163. At the end of the day, we also used my campsite to gather around the picnic table and talk about photography and the challenges of the day.

The light has been really harsh in the Southwest recently, so I composed this image by framing the distant Monument Valley and nearby boulders of Muley Point.

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