This weekend in Geneva was the 5th Geneva International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta and I wanted to try something a little different. I had shot a hot air balloon festival 18 months ago in Château d'Oex and and I was a little disappointed in my pictures. They were, in my opinion, somewhat too expected.
So my plan for this weekend was to come back with some different shots than those you usually see.
We got up early Saturday morning as the take-off was planned for 9am. We were happy to get there at 8:30am thinking we would have plenty of time to get ready to shoot but we realized one balloon had aleady taken off and the others were already well advanced. The other odd thing was the lack of balloons... There were 5, maybe 6. TOPS! They were taking off from different parks in Geneva. Bummer! So we just had to do the best we could with what was presented to us.
What you normally see from a hot air balloon shoot is vibrant colors, high contrasts, whole balloons in the sky, etc. I wanted to go with some deflated balloons, toned down colors and softer shots. Why? Because the massive pieces of fabric reminded me of giant marshmallows, bubblegum, lollipops and cotton candy light as a feather. I wanted to give my shots a dreamy feel and soft, silent and delicate touch.
I used my D3s and my 70-200mm only. I was mostly going for tight details, overlapping layers. Anything that reminded me of candy in a jar.
Another interesting aspect of the day was the proximity of trees as the balloons were taking of from parks in the city. Not a usual sighting when talking about hot air balloons. You normally tend to see them take off in open fields.
Before the last balloon took off, I did want to photograph the burners. They are quite impressive and the flame they produce is nothing less than intimidating and beautiful.
I hope you enjoyed these "sweets" and I wish you a terrific week!