Photography has always been a love of mine. In this gallery I have posted some of my favorite shots from hot-air ballooning, vacations, and some B&W course work. I shoot on 35mm Kodak print film mostly (Ektar when it was available, now called Royal Gold), using Pentax SF1-N, and Pentax K-1000 cameras, with lenses ranging from 28-210mm in focal length, and polarizing or color corrective filters when possible. Some images have been cropped slightly from the originals, or had the color balance adjusted due to film/scanner inaccuracies.

Click on any of the pictures below for a larger view. I have adjusted the size and quality of the pictures, so each should be under 100 Kb, and most weigh in at about 70Kb each.

Hot-Air Ballooning

Hot-Air Ballooning is a sport I have enjoyed for a number of years, although I haven't had the time to do it recently. Flying in a balloon can be quite a wonderful experience, different from any other form of travel you may have experienced. I have spoken to several people who are afraid of heights or flying that have had a great time in a hot-air balloon.

One of the most spectacular events at a balloon festival is known as a glow. At sunset, the pilots stand their balloons up, and using radio, or other signal, all light up their envelopes with a low pressure flame that creates a brilliant orange light inside the balloon. Sometimes they do it in special sequences, or other times in long continuous burns. The second row of photographs below, shows glows from several events that I attended.

You can see by the pictures below that while the teardrop is the most common, hot-air balloons come in all shapes and sizes. Almost all of the special shape balloons you see out there are manufactured by the UK factory of Cameron Balloons. In fact, a good majority of the balloons in these photos are made by Cameron.

Quite a number of the shots below were taken at the 1991 Albuquerque Balloon Festival, a huge event (well over a million spectators), and an excellent opportunity to get pictures of balloons from all over the world.

Takeoff.JPG (63358 bytes) Barge.JPG (55464 bytes) Apple2.JPG (78010 bytes) Canyon2.JPG (71623 bytes) Piggy.JPG (68528 bytes)
Morning takeoff from the Albuquerque Festival grounds. The flood control canal is visible to the left. The "Sky Barge". This is a big balloon (pilot +6 or 7), and a real chore to crew for. The Apple balloon. I crewed for this one more than just about any other. "Canyon Sunrise" sets down for a nice stand-up landing. The piggy bank, one of my favorites.
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"Whoa man, kool pig..." The Apple during a glow. It was one of the brightest balloons at the event. The other side of the Apple balloon during a glow. The Hastings balloon glows at Albuquerque. Another glow shot, this one at Danville I believe.
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Sunrise at the Danville festival. Sky is washed out because I was taking the shot towards the rising sun. The Early Times balloon. Look closely at the bottom of the balloon for a real kick... I believe this is either a Firestar or a Barnes balloon, I'm not sure. Very vibrant colors though... Hey look, its Garfield, and he's not sticking to the side of my window. Apple, Cop, Pig, and Pepsi in the background. Hagaar the Horrible, brought to life and flying over the fields of Danville.
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The cow isn't as big as it looks here, you can see the actual size of the cow in the first image in the upper left. I really like this one, since it looks like Santa is about to take a swig of the Early Times balloon. T-Rex looks pretty hungry, anybody have a lawyer to feed him? Just when you thought we'd finally gotten rid of them, they're baaack! I think I'm gonna smurf chunks... (In a Japanese accent) "Oh no, its Cowzilla! Run for your lives!" Cowzilla is about to eat morning commuters...
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Some of the other special shapes that attended Albuquerque in '91. There were lots that I didn't get good pictures of. I wish I knew how this turned out. Can you imagine anything more romantic? ;) The Klondike balloon. This is a real monster, I helped pack it away one night. It took about an hour to get it fully deflated. A balloon that we got close to at an event here in Illinois. Dya ever wonder how baby elephants are delivered?

Busch Gardens - The Dark Continent

Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida is perhaps my favorite theme park in the world. I enjoy it much more than Disney, Six Flags, or the other theme parks around. Not only do they have some great rides, but some phenominal exhibits of animals in natural environments, crafts and shops from various African cultures, and some excellent restaurants. I took a lot more pictures than this, but these I think were some of the standouts. I may add more pictures later.

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What can I say, tigers are beautiful majestic creatures. This is not an albino, but a white bengal tiger. Friends to the end... ;) One of the young koalas in the nursery. This baby was only two weeks old when I took the picture. If you look closely, you can see a patch on his neck that they had to shave to apply medication.

Black and White

These pictures are a few from a photo class I took a couple of years ago. There are other pictures I'd like to put up here, but they are mounted in a way that makes it difficult to scan, and I don't have quick (and cheap) local access to B&W enlargement facilities to reprint them for scanning. I may add pictures when possible as time goes on.

money.JPG (123347 bytes) jen2.JPG (79891 bytes) Rose2.JPG (60491 bytes) Barn1.JPG (78655 bytes)
Part of a soft lighting project. The coins are various denominations from all over the world (Viet Nam, England, Turkey, Italy, India, Germany, Peru, and several others) The picture is much higher quality than the scan, which was done on an inexpensive university scanner. I will try to rescan it soon on a better scanner. Part of a portraiture project. I shot several rolls of film in my $10 studio (used black felt bought from a fabric store for a backdrop, and white poster board for reflector. I should have used a fill light behind, but live and learn ).
Jennifer was much more than a friend to me, and I cared for her dearly, but things just never worked out between us.
This was for a project on the passage of time, I would have liked to do this one in color, but it was a black and white course, so I just had to live with it. I photographed the fresh flowers, and then placed them on the radiator while I went to the lab to develop the pictures I had just shot, then placed the enlargement in viewfinder, and re-shot with the wilted roses the next morning. Part of a personal project I chose to do on the decay of the American family farm. Large corporations have become the norm, and the small family farm is becoming more and more scarce.

Autumn Leaves

While I love every season of the year, I think perhaps I enjoy autumn the most. The landscape just seems to explode into brilliant yellow, orange, and red streaks of color. Recent years around here haven't been particularly spectacular due to the unpredictable weather conditions and such. The fall of 1998 turned out pretty well however, and I did manage to get a few acceptable images I thought worth placing here.

leaves1a.jpg (86245 bytes) leaves1b.jpg (83767 bytes) leaves2.jpg (72941 bytes) leaves3.jpg (90531 bytes)

Detail from image at left.

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Renaissance Faire Pics

I put these on their own page, you can access them here.

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