Temecula is famous for hot air balloons. What most people don’t know, is that for the most part, they only take off at dawn. Prior to launch, they roll out the long nylon balloon on the ground, and slowly blow air into the balloon with huge fans. When the balloon gets just enough air in the huge nylon sack, they light the propane powered flame, and let it blow directly into the huge balloon. Once this happens, the balloon begins to rise, and the basket and balloon are up righted, and ready for takeoff.
Just as they light the flame, and when the balloon is still on the ground is my favorite time to shoot. If you time it right – and the ambient light is dark enough, you can get a shot of the balloon glowing. This is where the term balloon-glow comes from. At the balloon festival in Temecula every year, they have what is called a balloon-glow in the evening every night. They light the balloons exactly as I have described here, they just don’t take off.
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, 1/30 sec, f5.6, ISO 100
All processing done in Lightroom
I shot this in Bodie, Ca, October of 2012 at midnight just before a huge snow storm hit. It was freezing cold, and I could barely feel my hands let alone the camera controls. It was almost pitch black to the naked eye, so I had to focus with a flashlight, and rough guess the composition. Once I tested with a short exposure, I then fired the shot you see here. I waited in my truck with the heater running while the shutter was open (about 35 minutes) careful not to step on the brake, or create any stray light that would appear in the final image.
I wanted something different than most shooters wind up with when they go up there, so I decided to create my own lighting in the middle of the night with the moon at my left.
Just as I was leaving, it started to snow, so I had to get out of there quick so I didn’t get stuck in the snow. I drove all the way back to Carson City (in a snow storm), and slept in the truck in a Casino parking lot
The light coming from inside the building was created by placing a single yellow gelled strobe just inside the door and pointed at the ceiling. The strobe was triggered remotely several times while I sat in my truck. The light on the left side exterior of the building is all moon light. This image is right out of the camera with minor adjustments done in Lightroom.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM, 1773 seconds (29.5 minutes) at f5.6, ISO 100
All processing done in Lightroom
I was shooting a wedding a last Saturday. The bride was getting her makeup done at the MAC counter at Macy’s in Temecula, so that is where my day started. I took several shots of the bride as she was having her makeup applied. As I was shooting the wife-to-be, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful eyes of the makeup artist. I didn’t get her name, but her eyes were in beautiful concentration the whole time. It looked as if her vision alone could apply the makeup skillfully without the help of her hands. I shot a few frames of just the makeup artist, and you see my favorite shot here.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L, 1/160 sec at f2.2, ISO 1600
All processing, and black&white conversion done in Lightroom