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One festival that I always look forward to each summer is the Jamesville Balloon Fest! As miserable as it may sound, I have always had these fond memories of waking up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to drive out to Jamesville to see these colorful, wondrous balloons float above the horizon. Its remarkable to me that filling those bags with hot air will be able to pick up a few people hundreds of feet into the air.

So this morning, my Dad and I left the house at 5:30 to catch the launch at 6. It was one of the earliest mornings I have had all summer. The morning was so beautiful. There was this thick fog that just engulfed parts of the city and the surrounding hillsides. Above the fog was a beautifully clear sky that was slowly being warmed with the color of the sun. I knew then that it was going to be a perfect morning for a launch and some good pictures! And I wasn’t the only one with that idea. When we got there, just about every other person was running around with DSLR. Apparently they all too had aspirations of catching these beautifully colored shapes floating against the morning blue sky. We had come at a perfect time too as most of the balloonists had just unrolled their prizes and were opening them up by filling them with air from a fan. You can see in some of these shots the scale of these balloons as you see some people keeping that hole open to let the air in. They were massive. Once the balloon was filled with enough air, they were safely able to fit the burner in there which would inject all of the hot air and cause the balloon to become upright. Once it was upright, 4-6 people would pile in the basket and they would float away! The first few times the balloons launched, my dad and I thought they had failed because after only a minute, they would start to sink right beyond the trees. We learned later that they were sinking just to skim the bottom of their basket on the lake. Once we hear of that challenge, we ran over to the lake to try to find a few balloons attempting this. It was cool to see them do this in the early morning because the water was so still that the balloon cast a perfect reflection on the water!

I hope you all enjoy the vibrant colors of these balloons and try to make it out to the last launch tonight at 6!

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These were shot with my Nikon D600 and my 28-75mm f/2.8 lens.


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Farmers Market

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Its been a while since I had done a photo post because of the craziness of the end of school and graduating.  Thats not to say I wasn’t taking pictures, because I did take a bunch of really cool ones, but I didn’t have the time to sort through them and organize them into posts. So now that it is summer and I have a little extra time on my hands, I will hopefully put a few together documenting some of the photo projects I have done in the last month. I will also hopefully have some fu opportunities to shoot some cool things.


This past weekend, I went to the farmers market with my mom and dad really early in the morning! We grabbed some breakfast at the market diner and then went over to the market.  There is a wide variety of things being sold at this market, but the fresh produce is always the most interesting to me.  The veggies always look as if they were picked that morning and they bring such great, natural smells and vibrant colors.  Thats what grabbed my attention Saturday and so I decided to focus on grabbing the closeup texture and vibrant colors of all the produce in the market. I love how they came out and I think that the pretty consistent crop of the food allows direct comparison of color and texture across all the different foods and together as a set they look great together.  It also gets me really excited for all of the fresh veggies and fruits to be had this summer!




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Two nights ago hardly anyone from our house was able to make it up our driveway because of the crazy amount of snowfall last night and how steep our driveway was. So we all parked a quarter mile away from our house at the Indian Mound lot so our driveway could get plowed in the morning. Because of that extra long, slow walk down the driveway in the morning however, I was able to appreciate and recognize all of the intricate beauty of the fresh fallen snow strung about in the trees.  If I hadn’t already been late to work then, i would have dropped everything and taken my time photographing the fresh snow.  I hadn’t had the opportunity to photograph snow yet with my new D600 so I was really hoping I would get a chance.  It was also then that I got very inspired for my photo shoot I would hopefully have time to do later that day.  With all of the fresh fallen snow and dull tones of all of the trees it covered, it felt like I was living in a black and white world.  It was then that I knew I was going to find any free time I could yesterday and capture this black and white world feel with all of the crazy texture I was experiencing as I looked through the thicket of trees laid in snow. So as soon as I was done working and done taking care of a few tasks I filled up my tank and just drove around looking for some great scenes for this black and white world I was envisioning.  I drove around and shot for about and hour and a half.  It was nice because of the very overcast, bleak day, it gave me very even lighting so I could just keep my exposure at the same settings through most of the day and make my main focus the composition and the contrast of the snow versus dull trees.  After taking the shots I uploaded them and during post processing I immediately turned the saturation all the way down on them so that as I was sorting them my focus was primarily on the white and black contrast and not distracted by any muted colors. Then I would bring up the clarity and contrast quite a bit to increase the bold transitions from white to black in my photo.

ImageThese were shot on my Nikon D600 with my 24-75mm 2.8 at 1/1000s f/7.1 ISO 200 with the exception of the waterfall shot which was a 1/2 second exposure.


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