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August 8, 2010 / Steve

Day 220 – Miniature Ballooning

Earlier this year at the Temecula Valley Wine & Balloon festival, I had met some balloonists and got to help them land their balloon. I previously posted a picture from the balloon festival earlier in the project. We exchanged information so I could deliver some pictures I had taken of their balloon. Well, a couple of weeks ago they contacted me to see if I wanted to help crew for them and also go up. The answer was an immediate “hell yeah!”  I’ll take any chance I can get to be in the air. To be part of the crew that helps set up, fly, land, put it all away, and enjoy the food and drink afterwards was such a great experience!

I will be posting a large collection of photos from the experience in the coming days, but for today’s picture I wanted to do something a little different. Everyone knows what to expect when you hear about “pictures from a hot air balloon ride”, so I wanted to take the road less traveled and do something I’ve seen before that I thought was pretty cool – take one of the pictures of the ground from the air and make it look like a miniature model. This is my first try at this technique but I’m pretty stoked with it.

I’ve previously seen, and admired photos that had this miniature look. I was bamboozled at how you can get this look from real-life pictures. You can do this on the camera if you have a special tilt-shift lens (very expensive), or you can do it with a bit of tricky post-processing (which is how I did it).

This was taken shortly after our take-off in Pauma Valley, CA. The two balloons you see are taking off right next to the house of the guy who hosted this little balloon party (thanks John!). If you look closely, you can see my little miniature black 350Z sitting on the 2 o’clock position in the culdesac.

What a great weekend!

Kurt and Mary – thanks so much for inviting me along. I had the best time!



Leave a Comment
  1. Mom / Aug 9 2010 8:21 AM

    Love the miniature shot. It surprised me that it was so clear. Liked you pointing out your car. Ha. I love all the times I’ve been around balloons and am so happy for you to have had this new adventure and had so much fun.

  2. Marco / Aug 9 2010 9:01 AM

    Love it! I’ve yet to play around with this technique but I’m seeing it more and more and want to try it!

  3. Mel / Aug 9 2010 7:49 PM

    Super cool – I’ll bet the people who invitied you will LOVE this one!!!

  4. Bryan / Aug 9 2010 8:57 PM

    I love that tilt-shift stuff. You nailed it.

  5. Steve / Aug 9 2010 9:21 PM

    Thanks everyone! I had a blast putting this one together .

  6. Sand Sock Girl / Aug 11 2010 11:54 PM

    Wow amazing photo. The miniature effect was fantastic and I just so love it! How did you do it? I wanna try it 🙂

  7. Natalie / Aug 12 2010 8:34 AM

    I had no idea you could make a photo look miniature. I’m learning so much following your blog. This is a great shot, and even better that your own car is in it. What an awesome day this must have been!

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