Hello again, thank you for stopping by Buzword. As the month of June comes to an end, Central NY becomes busy with festivals and events for the next few months of summer. This weekend I was planning on covering the Six hours at Watkins Glen for Apex Automotive Magazine. All week I was planning how I would cover the event and what gear I needed to get it done. Everyday I checked the weather for the up coming weekend, and it was always the same Rain, and lots of it😂😂.
With that in mind I was looking for something else to shoot with my Fuji Cameras. Friday morning my wife texted me and ask me if I would like to go to the Balloon Festival in Jameville, NY? I said sure lets do it😎. The weather was perfect, and going to be the best day do any kind of shooting. Right after work we piled into my car and headed 1/2 hr north. We have always talked about going to the Balloon Festival, but have never pulled the trigger. Our oldest daughter mentioned that her and her fiancé might head up as well.
All of My X Series cameras were ready to go for the weekend, so I grabbed my Fuji XE-2 with a 35mm 1.4 lenses and headed out. The 35mm 1.4 is pretty new to me so I figured I should get used to it, and I’m glad I did. An event like this might be a good place for a 10-24 or a little bigger zoom. There was a couple times I wish I had my 55-200mm, but I wanted to make one lens work. When we arrived at Jamesville Beach, it was already starting to get busy with folks from the area. Venders lined the grounds with food and merchandise. Admission was free, with parking being $10 a car. Not a bad place to take the family for a few hours on a Friday or Saturday.
A festival can be a great place to do some street photography. This is something I read about, but have never really tried. My wife and I were sitting around listening to music and getting a bite to eat. I was looking for some interesting people to take images of. Next to us were some little kids and their parents dancing to the soul music coming from the stage. I grabbed a few shots of them, but was careful because of the young children. Now a days you need to be careful when taking pictures of other people’s kids. So I then started looking for some interesting adults to capture. I did get a couple keepers , but that was about it. So much for street shooting, ha it’s not easy.
Luckily for us the Balloons started to fill with air in preparation of taking off. We met up with our daughter, her fiancé, and his parents a bit before the balloons started their voyage across the valley. At least fifteen balloons were on hand for people to get a ride in, and the rest of us to enjoy from the ground. These things are massive in size. I guess I could have use a 14mm or 16mm lens to capture these Monmouth airships. The 35mm worked great. I just stepped back a bit to capture the image. One by one the balloons took flight filling the sky’s with beautiful colors. I was shooting both RAW and JPEG, and exposing for the sky, while riding my exposer compensation dial to make small adjustments on my Fuji.
My 35mm is super sharp at f8, and very sharp all through the range. I am starting to love this lens and it’s sharp images. After a 1/2 hr all of the balloons were in the air traveling south to their landing areas. Once the balloons started their journey, their chase vehicles packed up and headed out to follow them on from the ground. We left soon after that watching the balloons on our way home. I snapped a few shots from our moving car along the way. I was looking to add some motion to my images. This worked pretty good, I just wish I had grabbed a few more like this.
Well that’s about it for Balloon Fest 2015. We had a good time, and I was blessed to capture a few keepers to make into prints. As I’m writing this Blog post it is raining outside, just like the Weather man had predicted. I would rather be shooting sports cars right now instead of writing this blog post, but that’s how the cookie crumbles I guess. My son and I will be covering some DIRT Modified racing this coming Wedsnday night @ Rolling Wheels Raceway. Stop back next week to read about our shoot. I just rented the 50-140mm 2.8 from Lens Rentals for Wednesday’s shoot, along with a 50k Ultra race that my wife and I are shooting and the 4th of July.
Thank you for hanging out with me on this rainy day, I hope you enjoyed it. John Zachary Photography
Remember Just Shoot!