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Old Nov 8, 2005, 2:47 PM   #1
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Balloons--They're everywhere! Your child plays with them. They are used for advertising. They are used in political events. They are used in floral bouquets. Take a drive down any street where there are apartment and condo complexes and you will see clusters of balloons. Often, at fairs or in other public places you will see someone making balloon animals or other balloon "sculptures."

Your assignment or challenge is to find and photograph latex balloons (no mylar or hot-air balloons, please) in an artistically pleasing setting. You may use single balloons, clusters, balloon arches, etc. Many floral shops have machines for putting flowers, stuffed animals, or other objects inside of balloons. These are all good photo subjects.

Balloons come in all colors and sizes. In my opinion, the transparent ones in "designer" colors are the most photogenic!

Here are some tips for photographing latex balloons:

1. If you are photographing balloons outdoors, try to get them in early morning just after they have been put out. This is when the air is the calmest and minimizing movement.

2. The good looking transparent balloons I mentioned earlier, lose their transparency and begin to look dull after a couple hours in the sun and wind. This is another reason for shooting early in the morning.

3. Get up close and personal with a cluster of balloons. Stick your lens right in the middle of them for an interesting effect.

4. For balloon arches and larger arrays, try shooting from different angles and directions . Watch the background for unwanted objects. Try closeup and distant shots of the same cluster of balloons.

5. If there is any wind, you will need to use a high shutter speed. For those of you that like to use the preprogrammed modes, use the action or sports mode. For the purists, use shutter priority.

6. Night shots using transparent balloons should produce some spectacular shots. I haven't tried this but it seems like a good idea.

Here are some examples of the type of shots I am referring to. These are just a few ideas. Don't limit yoursef to these types of shots. Note--These are all scanned 35mm negatives shot about six years ago.

Here are a couple of up close and personal:





Here are a couple balloon arches:





Last is a large latex balloon with a line of smaller ones below it:



Remember to put Balloons in your subject line when you post your photos. Go out and have fun shooting balloons with your camera (not a peashooter!)

Cal Rasmussen

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Old Nov 14, 2005, 4:39 PM   #2
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Calr,

I've now read and re-read your challenge three times to try and figure out why the lack of response.

The only clue I've come up with is your reference to artistic ballooning. That may be flooring people at the moment.

I've submitted a photo to start things off.


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