[QUOTE=mikoo;313560]First time using a mini-studio setup.
D300; 50mm f/1.4 AFD
Yes. I was lurking in the coffee shop.
1. D700; Sigma12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM; 23mm; 1/10s @ f/5.6; ISO 640
2. D700; Sigma12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM; 23mm; 1/25s @ f/5.6; ISO 640
2 similar shots each with unique & different perspectives. Rather stealthy! Nice pair Matt.
A very peaceful image, Rayyan. Life as it happens.
Rayyan, excellent pair! Love the B&W!
Rayyan: Nope. *buck's is on the next block and then again two blocks after that. This place is called "Chocolati". Handmade chocolates and coffee. Yumm!
The hot sauce of choice...everywhere.
D700; Sigma12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM; 21mm; 1/13s @ f/5.6; ISO 640
Nicely captured, Matt. It even looks hot!
Lloyd: Thanks! The food at this restaurant needed a little spicing up.
My last "test" images with this rented lens. It goes back tomorrow. I do like it. It's pretty compact compared to the Nikon. IQ and speed not as good, of course.
1. D700; Sigma12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM; 12mm; 1/10s @ f/4.5; ISO 6400
2. D700; Sigma12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASP HSM; 12mm; 1/13s @ f/4.5; ISO 6400
Looks good to me. Does that go 12mm on FX?
Had an amazing experience over the weekend.
D3s, 14-24/2.8 @ f5.6, 1/3200, ISO 400:
Lloyd, that is a superb shot!
Would like to learn more about the mini studio setup, too!
And... i'll take the "filter holder" on the left.
Colors, reds in particular, are splendid on the second photo giving a realistic atmosphere of the place. Might have a preference for the composition of the bw shot (?).
Colors, composition, light, movement... fantastic!
Now we're curious to hear (and see) more about this experience...
in a hot air balloon! Same for food. Nothing beats Southern hospitality and belles for me. I shall stick to Tabasco.
I love the bw with your rented lens. The colors are unlike the ones I usually see in your posts.
I found this today. It was not there last evening.
A baby bird. Fell from its nest.
A sad discovery. Life is indeed as precious as it is fleeting.
Thank you all, gentlemen.
Here's the story (short version):
Mimi has a friend she met 3 or 4 years ago through a professional association to which they both belong. They discovered they are both runners, so they began running together when the opportunity presented. About a year ago, they got together on the weekend for a long run, and during the course of the run, her friend, Maria, mentioned that she and her husband, Karl, enjoy hot air ballooning. We thought that was interesting, but that was all there was to it at the time.
About a month ago, we were invited to their home for dinner. Their house is full of pictures of hot air balloons, and it turns out that the husband has been a balloon pilot for nearly 30 years, and for over 10 years was the head of the balloon program for Wells Fargo Bank. He flew their themed balloons (which he designed... the stagecoach, the piggy bank, etc.) at events all over the country; traveling on average more than 300 days per year. He also ran the themed balloon event at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta for more than a decade.
So, long story short, they have their own balloon, and this past weekend invited us along. They involved us in every aspect of the process, from set up to takedown. We were in the sky for the sunrise, Mimi and I flying with Karl for more than an hour. (I have to say, that taking your first balloon flight with one of the most experienced pilots in the world adds a certain level of comfort. ) It was a lot of fun, and we're looking forward to going again.
So that's it in a nutshell. Here are a few more pictures (all with the D3s/14-24/2.8 combo):
Mimi and a friend holding open "the throat", while the balloon is inflated by a fan:
Maria pulling the balloon open so it can fully inflate:
The view from the inside:
Last edited by Lloyd; 9th May 2011 at 11:00.
A few more:
Firing up the burners, and filling the balloon with hot air. BTW, this balloon has totally redundant burner systems, each one of which produces 15 million BTUs!! (the average barbecue grill produces about 40,000 BTUs when set on "High"!):
The balloon flies on just one burner, the second is "active", but not used unless needed.:
Karl the Pilot:
A very happy, newly-minted "aeronaut", giving some old guy a kiss. (Glad I hung on to the camera! I didn't think about it until later. ):
Last edited by Lloyd; 9th May 2011 at 10:58.
After about an hour, Karl did a "hop", setting us down, where I got out and a friend got in. The pilot can control vertical, (i.e., ascent and descent), but not horizontal... which the winds decide. So a ground crew follows in a vehicle to help with landing, change of passengers, etc.:
That allowed me to get some shots of the balloon in flight from the ground:
I rode in the follow vehicle, and Karl eventually chose a school playground for landing from the second hop. Unfortunately, the gates were closed, so he came down and hovered just above the ground. He dropped a line, and we literally pulled him around the school to the front parking lot. When he had to clear some trees and fences, he just gave the balloon more hot air and floated above the obstacles, and we towed him around them. (Yes, I did help tow, but I had to get one picture first. )
Like many other sports, Ballooning has it's traditions. There is an initiation ceremony for first time "aeronauts' (read: me and Mimi), which involves some story-telling, a toast and a challenge. It was fun, but a little wet. Here another balloon pilot, who on this day passed his commercial balloon pilot check ride, is "welcomed" to the next level by his wife and our friend Maria (BTW, the master of ceremonies and the ballooning official had his attention in the front, and he didn't see this coming.:
Great photos and story, Lloyd, but Danish and Swedish flags??
(my mother did this over the Serengeti about ten years ago. )
A few tulips.
D700; 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII; 160mm; 1/50s @ f/2.8; ISO 200
and what to me would be a hair raising experience let alone photography.
Difficult to choose from the series. Each one stands on its own.
But choose I must and the above is my choice..for more than just wonderful
Matt, Lovely Tulips!!!
BTW, a couple of things we learned about ballooning. First off, addressing Matt's question about parachutes: I wondered that myself. Turns out that even if the balloon experienced a traumatic (total) loss of hot air (which is virtually impossible), the "terminal velocity" of the falling balloon and basket (even with a full load of passengers) is 1200 feet/minute (20 feet per second). Military parachutes are made for a descent of 1500 feet per minute. So if it falls, bend your knees at landing and you walk away. Even a partially inflated balloon actually descends quite slowly.
The pilot told us that they occasionally take sky divers up to jump, and it differs from jumping from an airplane in that there is almost no ground speed so the jumper experiences a sensation of falling, which is absent when jumping from a plane. (Same with BASE jumping). He said they've actually had experienced ski divers go up, but then decline to jump out, saying that the lack of noise and wind, etc. so unnerved them they couldn't jump.
Also, Corlan, the way the pilot controls direction is by moving up and down. The winds are seldom constant in one direction, and move in different directions at different levels above the ground. Before we started, he released a small helium-filled balloon, and watched how it reacted to the wind. It actually started out moving to the south, but then when it got higher, shifted and moved quickly north. He explained that he's learned over 30 years of flying balloons to make the changes required to allow him to go generally where he wants. Not an exact science, but pretty impressive.
One last thing. I often experience some vertigo on a bridge or on a high cliff. I've had issues with that in the Grand Canyon, and in Canyonlands, for instance. Ironically, I really never had that feeling at all in the balloon. It was very smooth, felt very safe and comfortable. It is very calm in the balloon. Since you are moving at the same speed as the wind, you feel no wind yourself.