Observation is one of the keys of making good images. It’s staying open to what’s happening around you, above you and yes, behind you. If you’re photographing wildlife, you can often discern patterns of behavior and position yourself for the best place to set up at a certain time of day. If you watch people, especially people with cameras, they’ll display patterns of behavior that will also be predictable.
This past weekend I rose before dawn to photograph the hot air balloons lifting off at the New Smyrna Beach Balloon and Air Show. It was pre-dawn when I arrived and a large number of people wearing heavy, black “necklaces”, who like me, were milling around in anticipation of some action to photograph. Balloonists were laying out their balloons and reading their equipment. As soon as the engine to one of the giant fans that blow air into the balloons was started, my fellow photographers swarmed it it like vultures to a carcass. I took a look at what they were photographing, and I noted that there was a lack of sweet light and decided that THEY were the shot. In the center of this photo is a young girl that I spied who caught my attention. She stood out to me because of her size and she had two, count them, two cameras around her neck. Now we’re talking serious amateur here! I made sure she got in for some good shots.
As the sun rose and the light changed, I started to have fun. The crowd started to disperse and I found myself photographing people. (Figure that one out!) One of the balloonists reminded me of “the great and wonderful Oz” character, who worked the machinations of the fictitious OZ.
Events like this can’t take place without volunteers so here’s an image of one of the volunteers doing “keep it on the ground” duty as the wind picked up.
Tomorrow – some images from the Air Show at night.
Nikon 17-35mm lens, 70-200mm lens used.