Opposites of Exposure: Crowds and Hot Air Balloons at the Green County Fair

A couple Saturday’s ago, I went to the Green County fairgrounds in rural Wisconsin to photograph hot air balloons. I planned to capture the glow and intensity of the balloons, using low ISO and longer exposures with a tripod, somehow thinking the experience would be like photographing, say lighted architecture at night. It never occurred to me that I would be vying for space with thousands of people enjoying the spectacle of the balloons.

As darkness fell, fires under the dozen or so balloons were blasted randomly, lasting only a few seconds. The crowds stampeded to each balloon as it was being lit, where they took selfies, drank beer and let the children run. It was a mob scene and I was fascinated.  I made the split second decision to photograph the balloons as I had planned with long exposures to gain the clarity and brilliance of the night. And in doing this, I sought to capture the energy of the crowd by the blur of the individuals’ movements rather than through fast shutter speeds freezing each’s position. I think this represents the concept of “opposites” by not only light/dark and still/movement but also for the dynamics of the exposures required for these photographs.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Opposites

3 thoughts on “Opposites of Exposure: Crowds and Hot Air Balloons at the Green County Fair

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