Tag Archives: SX50

Balloon Chasing From A Year Ago

Facebook has it’s good and bad. Far, far more bad than good, but occasionally it’s useful. It reminded me that a year ago I was chasing balloons and took some cool photos of what happened.It also reminded me that I had intended to put it in my blog, but never did. I only posted it to Facebook. That made my story their story. I don’t like that.

So what happened that day? Tami and I were on our way home from The Shelby Mall. We were close to Mansfield when I noted this beautiful hot air balloon. I wanted photos of it, so we started following it.

Rainbow colored hot air balloon flying.
A hot air balloon spotted over Richland County in Ohio.

I didn’t want just any photos, I wanted a photo of a hot air balloon with a farm or any other part of the landscape. I got the shot!

Hot air balloon flying over a farm.
Hot air balloon over a Richland County, Ohio farm.

After I got the shot and we were thinking about heading home, it looked like the balloon was out of control. It would start going down for a landing, then taking off again. It did this quite a few times until it looked like an attempt had ended in disaster.

Another car had been following it too and thought they had witnessed a crash into the woodline too. Myself and a faster, younger passenger of that vehicle ran through the woods. I was afraid of what I might find. A few times, I had to stop to catch my breath.

Once I reached the “crash” site, we realized that it was a baby soft landing in a field just beyond the woodline I had ran through. I was so relieved. It was actually a celebration with champagne and all. Their chase vehicle was there too. The farmer who owned the land gave them permission and drank champagne with the young couple and pilot.

Hot air balloons.
Happy landing of a hot air balloon.

I learned a few things that day.

  1. I smoked to much and I was to fat to run like that. Since then, I’ve quit smoking. The fat problem is next.
  2. Canon SX50 cameras(and other superzoom cameras) are great. I was able to get the zoom shot, the farm shot, then make the run through the woods and get the final celebratory landing with 1 camera.
  3. Hot air balloons are at the mercy of the wind and landowners. If the farmer had decided that he didn’t want the balloon to land, they would have been forced to take off again and try a landing elsewhere.

What I’ve learned today is that I shouldn’t be lazy and post things I intend to write about on my Facebook page. I own this site. This will be around. Who knows what Facebook will do with it?

The Amazing Power Of Superzooms

This video was shot on a cloudy day from a mono pod with a Canon SX50 super zoom. It’s not a great video, but good enough to demonstrate the power of a super zoom and the numerous opportunities that such a camera gives for a low price.

While the zoom power of the lens is incredible for a camera that costs less than $400, note the numerous photo opportunities that can be taken. The steeple, the factory, the clock on the courthouse, the list goes on. I that same inexpensive little camera, I can get interesting closeup shots of the old tombstones too.

Of course, the quality of the image is not going to be as high it would be if I used a DSLR with lenses that would cost many thousands of dollars, but I can still take very good images that allow creativity to flow with ease.

I only use my Canon SX50 as an example because that is what I own. There are many other super zoom cameras that are better suited to you. All the major manufacturers have one. I bought my daughter a Panasonic FX70 that is highly comparable. It’s lacking a swivel viewfinder which I prefer, the menu system is different from what I’m accustomed to, and it’s a larger camera. It’s really just a matter of personal preference.

The downside to the super zoom cameras are that they are lacking compared to higher quality cameras. Good lighting is always preferred for super zoom as their low-light performance just isn’t that great. This can be overcome with a tripod and longer exposure times. The super zoom lens distortion is more noticeable and it’s not uncommon for the camera to produce more noise.

I’ve found that Photoshop can correct many of the shortcomings of a super zoom, even the lens distortion. Better in-camera photos are always a plus, but digital editing is one way to make due. The skills learned transfer to any camera later too. Even very high end cameras produce images that benefit from digital editing skills.