It Was the Fourth of July (Lomochrome Turquoise XR)

I had a wonderful holiday weekend, taking photos and being with some of my favorite people. I went to the Battle Creek Air Show, and snapped away using my Minolta X700 and some Lomochrome Turquoise XR film. Check out these way cool results!

Gorgeous. I am so in love with this film, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something new! I snapped a couple double exposures, and I also took my Hoya RGB Multivision filter out and used it in a couple of shots (the rainbow trippy ones.)

The nice thing about this weekend was how I was challenging myself to take the photos I wanted to take– pictures of people. I am extremely shy when it comes to photographing strangers, even candidly, but this weekend I made it my goal to take the photos I wanted to take. So, I got some wonderful candids, like the the one of the father and daughter playing a carnival game. Love it.

My next goal is asking people up front if I can take their photo. Yikes.


Seriously– I’ve been trying for two summers. You can read about those adventures here and here.

I also shot some 110 film and some 120 film, but I have to send those off for development. Maybe you’ll see them in like a month. Or five. Who knows with me!

Happy Shooting!

Memorial Day and How Hot Air Balloons Exist

It’s Memorial Day in the United States, which means it’s a holiday weekend! This weekend I did quite a bit in the way of photography, so here it goes!

I got a new camera. Kaiden and I went to a couple flea markets and I scored a Sears KS-1 camera with a fixed 50mm lens. The camera is semi-automatic and I can only set the aperture. The camera sets the shutter speed. So, it’s good for when I’m in a hurry. I also scored a Promatic FTD4500AF Hot Shoe Flash- which I am SUPER HAPPY about because I’ve been wanting a flash for my analog cameras but hadn’t gotten around to it. Now I can play with gels and TUNGSTEN FILM I AM USING ALL CAPS BECAUSE I’VE BEEN WANTING TO SHOOT TUNGSTEN WITH A YELLOW GEL FOR ABOUT A YEAR NOW AND MY TIME HAS COME.

So that was pretty great.

Sunday morning was the more intense adventure. My boyfriend and I woke up at 3AM to drive two hours to see a hot air balloon launch in Frankenmuth, MI. For those of you who have been around for a while, my hot air balloon attempts from last year ended with two good photos of the balloons on the ground (one of which is being published.) I’ve started the hot air balloon season with determination, and I was not disappointed.

I was, however, deeply confused.

I’m new to this whole hot air balloon culture. All I know is that they are pretty and they fly and I want to photograph them. Last year, I always went to evening launches, where there would be a giant roped-off field and crowds of people sitting around it waiting for the balloons to blow up and get flyin’. Since every evening launch I went to ended with no balloons, I did some research and found that the balloons are more likely to fly in the morning. I’m not a morning person, but it was a “challenge accepted” kind of thing.

We got to Frankenmuth.


No one.

There was a field, but no people.

Imagine my tired confusion.

I took to the interwebs and found that they were not launching from the designated field, but rather from different backyards in the area, and that they were going to meet over a nearby air field. The hunt was on. We found the air field, but saw no balloons. On our drive though, we saw some balloons being inflated. So we waited.

The sky was dotted with balloons within 15 minutes. We parked the car and started walking, looking for a place to see the balloons more clearly. We got to an open field where there was a clear shot to the air strip, where the balloons were congregating. Pictures ensued.

Thank goodness I brought my zoom lens, because those balloons were a bit too far for 80mm. They are a bit back-lit, but that couldn’t be helped because, y’know, I can’t control the sunrise. I got a little lens glare as a result, but c’est la vie. Live and learn, as always.

I’m not super pleased with the photos, but I am excited I got to see balloons in flight. I’m going to more launches this summer, and I’m hoping that I’ll get to go to an evening launch, where the balloons will be a lot closer and hopefully not back-lit.

I took a picture frame that had a stock image of a hot air balloon in it with us because I had an idea for an instax picture, but we ended up using it for more than just that. Some of my favorite pictures are from messing around with it.

And that’s the hot air balloon adventure.

Our adventures on Sunday did not end there. We went to the beach to see my family and ended up going on a nature trail. I had my Minolta X-700 with me, but it randomly stopped working, so I was out of luck. I had my Minolta Weathermatic A with me, but it only had 6 shots left on it and it was quickly filled (but I can finally send it off to get developed!) I had to resort to using my iPhone, but I got a few pretty shots.

It was an excellent weekend for photography. I’ll have a double-exposed roll of my hot air balloon and beach escapades, but I have to finish the roll. And, speaking of double exposures, I’m still taking submissions for my double exposure challenge. Follow the link for more details and email your images to I’ll be posting the submissions by the end of the first week of June.

That’s all for now- I’m looking forward to seeing more submissions! Happy shooting~


Hot Air Balloon Quest

This summer I have been on a journey. It all started when my mother heard about a hot air balloon festival in Howell, MI. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

So, we went to the festival at the end of June. I was excited because:

1.) I’d never actually seen a hot air balloon in person.

2.) I was going to get some awesome photos.

I was like a little kid on Christmas morning (or a poor college student on Christmas morning whose parents just bought them a new coffee mug… we could go with that, too.) I’m sure you could understand my disappointment when they cancelled the hot air balloon flight because winds were at 9MPH.

We drove home disappointed. However, my disappointment was short lived: I took to the internet. The next one we could go to was in Jackson, MI. We now knew that ideal conditions were under 9MPH, and there could be next to no chance of rain. We got this. We were prepared. We were going to check the weather conditions before we went out for a long drive to go see some big balloons and go snappy-snappy.

Yeah, there was a tornado warning the day we were gonna go.


There were no more festivals in Michigan. Ohio was another story. Our sights landed in Findlay, Ohio. We invited my friend, Kaiden, to come with us. I watched the perfect weather all week. We were finally going to see some hot air balloons. It was going to be a sunny day with 0% chance of rain and winds at 5-6MPH. Thank you, National Weather Service.

Thanks a bunch.

Why am I so thankful? Because I’m being sarcastic. We drove all the way to Findlay. It was cloudy and suspicious looking. And windy, very windy. When we got there it started to sprinkle rain. This was at 4:30PM, but we figured we’d wait it out, since the launch was at 6:00PM. 6:00PM came and went. At least there’s the balloon glow, at 8:30, we figured. There were hundreds of people still there being determined, so we thought we’d wait it out too.

However, hot air balloon pilots with their baskets attached to the back of their trucks were leaving. Were they going to have the balloon glow? Am I ever going to see these giant balloons? Or are hot air balloons some elusive myth, similar to Big Foot or The Loch Ness Monster? I was beginning to believe that finding good ‘ol Nessie would be easier than finding a hot air balloon.

It was cold, windy, and rainy- just like my discouraged soul. Kaiden and I went to the car to grab our hooded shirts to keep warm and to move our legs, for we had been sitting on the grass for many an hour at this point. Sore and tired, we returned to our blanket.

But not for long.

While we were gone, they started blowing up the remaining balloons. A worker was driving around on a golf cart and stopped next to where our blanket was because a photographer had his gear all set up (he had some nice gear- there was a lens he had that would cost me a kidney,) and offered him a special pass to go out on the field to take pictures up close.

Thank God for mothers. My mom stopped the person in the golf cart and said, “Hey! I have two photography students with me, can I get a pass?” AND SHE GOT ONE.

So imagine our faces when we came back and not only were there balloons (turns out they’re real I guess,) but we had special access to go near them.

We got out onto the field and snapped away. We were a little frantic, because we only had about ten minutes or so and our brains did something kind of like this: “okay so what setting should I use oh no it’s way too dark and oh no I’m stopped all the way down already and dangit how should I compensate for when the balloons randomly light up and ahhhhh one just lit up and I missed it okay okay fine high ISO it is I can’t believe this is actually happening ahhhh one’s lighting up let me square up and try not to get a blurry exposure.”

That’s not a dramatization.

We got our pictures though and had to leave the field pretty quickly, but we were satisfied. Kaiden and I got some really great shots, and I managed to somehow get a panorama. Perhaps the hot air balloon gods felt sorry for all my traveling and well-wishing and decided to finally cut me a break.

I also snapped some on my film camera with Revolog Texture film, but those aren’t developed yet because I haven’t finished the roll. Those should be coming soon. I learned a lot from this experience: plan ahead, hot air balloons are almost like unicorns, and having a mother like a honey-badger comes in handy. Next summer I hope to see hot air balloons in the air, but for now I’m pretty satisfied with them glowing on the ground.