2014 Citrus Classic Balloon Festival

July 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

For the past few years, I have attended Santa Paula’s annual Citrus Classic Balloon Festival to take in the beautiful sights and sounds of hot air balloons. This past weekend was the weekend to grab my camera and make some images of the festival.

While I love the beautiful colors of the balloons when night falls and the balloons start to “glow”, I love watching the set up of these massive balloons. The work and human power that goes into making the balloons light up the night sky is pretty amazing. Crews set up the balloons, handlers hold the balloons to keep them from taking a premature flight, and pilots work the controls to make this a beautiful and memorable event.

Crews roll out balloons on the ground before blowing fans into them to inflate them.

Crews roll out balloons on the ground before blowing fans into them to inflate them.

Crew members hold open the balloon so that air can get into the material.

Crew members hold open the balloon so that air can get into the material.

A hot air balloon pilot blows heat into the balloon.

A hot air balloon pilot blows heat into the balloon.

A young attendee is mesmerized by the balloons.

A young attendee is mesmerized by the balloons.

An attendee looks at his camera phone to review his pictures.

An attendee looks at his camera phone to review his pictures.

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Views From the 2014 Esri International User Conference: GIS In Imagery

July 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

As a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professional, I had the opportunity to attend the Esri International User Conference this year. Of course I brought along my camera, and the wonderful site GISLounge.com published my photo essay on the blog. Click here to see the photos and read the article.

The ESRI logo fills the San Diego Convention Center

The ESRI logo fills the San Diego Convention Center

The game “Where in the World” tests attendees knowledge of geography through aerial imagery.

Cowboys and Pictures

May 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Last weekend, I attended an annual event full of trick roping, gun slinging and horseshoe making. Add in a mix of old country music and Old West attire, and this is a great place for fun imagery.

The annual Cowboy Festival is an annual two day festival held at Melody Ranch movie studios, home to many productions over the decades here in Southern California. Performers entertained on stages throughout the venue, as well as milling about the “streets”.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the afternoon:

Delicate parasols

Delicate parasols

Trick roper Dave Thornbury shows of his roping skills

Trick roper Dave Thornbury shows of his roping skills

Country entertainer Dave Rainwater plays a tune on his harmonica

Country entertainer Dave Rainwater plays a tune on his harmonica

A blacksmith prepares a horseshoe for customization

A blacksmith prepares a horseshoe for customization

Portrait of Dave Thornbury

Portrait of Dave Thornbury

A beautiful day at Melody Ranch

A beautiful day at Melody Ranch

Boots for sale

Boots for sale

Amgen Tour of California- Stages 3 and 4

May 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

The Amgen Tour of California , which happens to be the largest bicycle race in the United States, breezed into Santa Clarita, CA with an exciting finish of Stage 3 on Tuesday May 14 and out of Santa Clarita, CA on Wednesday May 15. I had the opportunity to shoot this sporting event last week, and it was such a fun experience.
Here are a few photos from the finish line, where the cyclists finished the race from Palmdale to Santa Clarita. Peter Sagan won that stage:

 

The start of Stage 4 — from Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara –was a much more relaxed atmosphere. I was able to get some candids of the riders before they took off:

 

It was really fun to step out of my comfort zone and try to utilize some of the concepts that I have learned from the likes of Dave Black and Scott Kelby. Of course it will take a lot of  practice and shooting a lot more sports — but the main thing is that I had so much fun making these images!

Thank you for stopping by!

Citrus Classic Balloon Festival 2010

August 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

Last weekend, Santa Paula experienced an influx of hot air balloons for the third Citrus Classic Balloon Festival. About 16-18 balloons showed up for a soiree of color.

I caught a few photos as the balloons were rolled out and set up before the sun set:

Crafting the Balloon

Taken with the Canon 5D Mark 2 (the only camera I use anymore), Canon EF 24-105 L.  f/7.1 to get a good amount of focus, at 1/80, ISO 100.  Cropping and color correction done in Lightroom 2.

I liked focusing on the guys that were working with the balloons to get them up and running for us to enjoy.

I played around a bit with this photo, keeping in mind the recent Creative Live weekend with David DuChemin, “Vision-Driven Photography”:

Working the giant

Taken with Canon 5D Mark 2, Canon EF 24-105 L. f/5.6 at 1/25, ISO 200.
This particular photo didn’t go along with my original vision, and I wish I would have done a few things differently with it, but I knew that it was important to the story of the balloons. In terms of editing, I used Lightroom to direct the eye a little bit by using some gradient filters.

In terms of the vision I had for this event, these photos are the closest to what I wanted:

Balloon detail 3

The colors and the detail of the balloon are pretty much what I wanted (the execution to get exactly what I wanted was just a bit off).

Ooh and aahing

I love this photo because it shows the wonder and awe that goes along with seeing these huge balloons lit up. It also looks a bit like the Wizard of Oz to me.

This little guy was tuckered out before night even fell:

Tired

I had to get his picture, his face was perfect.

Check out the rest of the set here , I really like how a lot of these photos turned out, and can’t wait for the festival next year!

Thanks for stopping by!

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