Gary Butler  

Dansville Balloon Festival by Gary Butler

October 2021 - Dansville Balloon Festival

October 2021 - Gary Butler


October 2021 - Gary Butler

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About the Image(s)

Every year on the Labor Day weekend Dansville, NY hosts the New York State Balloon Festival. This year the weather for the weekend guaranteed good launch every morning and evening. I am trying to expand my capture into "Travel" and thought this would be a great opportunity. Here I was trying to capture the effort that went into successfully inflating and launching the balloon. In one of the "originals" on the right you can see one successful result.

This image was shot with my Canon 5D Mark IV and a 100-400mm lens at nearly full magnification. I was shooting hand held in the "Manual" mode at ISO 800, f/13 and 1/60th second with Image Stabilizer Engaged. (At these launches you must consistently change settings {like bird photography} and I would probably have preferred to shoot at a higher shutter speed and ISO.)

Post work included basic LR adjustments, AI Clear and Noise Reduction in Topaz Studio 2, Viveza 2 Control points to brighten and add contrast to both balloons and the launchers as well as darkening some of the "on-lookers" and the transport equipment. I added Tonal Contrast in Color Efex 4.

7 comments posted

Isaac Vaisman M.D.   Isaac Vaisman M.D.
Gary, great action shot capturing the activity going on and all the people involved. I like the juxtaposition of both balloons and of different color. The presence of the vehicles gives real dimension to the image. It is sharp and nicely composed. Perhaps cropping slightly the green foreground makes it less evident. Also cropped the side where there is an amputated leg with a shoe. Kept your signature.   Posted: 10/06/2021 23:10:18
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Gary Butler   Gary Butler
Isaac, thanks for picking that up. It's amazing how when I get so involved thinking about contrast and brightness and other technical details I can miss something as obvious as an amputated foot. Will make that change immediately. Thanks again.   Posted: 10/07/2021 07:26:33
Vella Kendall   Vella Kendall
Issac, that is a reminder for all of us.   Posted: 10/07/2021 15:38:17

Guy Davies   Guy Davies
I am always amazed that they don't set fire to these balloons when they start inflating them. A good image depicting the work that goes in to getting a balloon inflated and ready for flight. Everything is sharp but I found my eye going to the brightly coloured balloon in the background. I took it into Photoshop and made a b/w adjustment layer which I put into Luminosity blend mode. This left the base image in colour but enabled me to darken down the bright colours simply by using the colour sliders in the b/w adjustment layer. Then I used Curves layers with well feathered freehand selections to brighten up the black balloon plus the relevant people and to bring back some of the brightness in the grass.   Posted: 10/07/2021 05:09:43
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Isaac Vaisman M.D.   Isaac Vaisman M.D.
Guy, interesting effect with the muted colors. Not so engaging to your eyes.   Posted: 10/07/2021 14:52:49

Vella Kendall   Vella Kendall
I like the bright intense colors and the men's positioning which add a lot of drama.   Posted: 10/07/2021 15:40:56

Ian Chantler   Ian Chantler
Hi Gary
Anything to do with aviation gets my immediate attention,I love the way you have gone in close and captured the action and shown the enviroment and the pre preparation of the event you mentioned travel this for me would also come into the PJ category.I have been to similar events in the UK they are so much fun I do not know if they do it at this event but sometimes after dark they tether some of the balloons down and inflate them its called a night glow and is spectacular to see and to photograph
Now the aviation geek comes out in me the thumbnail of the balloon lifting off you have posted is a Aerostar RX8 balloon owned by Endeavour Hot Air Balloons from Grafton I will now remove my anorak.   Posted: 10/10/2021 15:25:27


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