I stated in a previous post that once my helium had arrived I would fill on of the heart balloons to go and do some test shots at different locations. The helium arrived this Thursday as expected and luckily it was a beautiful day. So I rushed off the do the test shots. I had four locations in mind, Hartley Crescent Park, Woodhouse Moore/Hyde Park, the park between St Marks Rd and Woodhouse St as well as from the top back bedroom window in my house – if worse came to worse. These are all locations that are on a hill, of varying degrees, hopefully enabling me to get the shot I wanted of the balloons without any visual interference from the ground. I knew that because it was a really sunny day that I would also have people sitting around enjoying the sun to contend with, perhaps meaning I wouldn’t be able to get the right angle on the balloon. I decided my first location would be Hartley Crescent Park as it is quite small and in a quiet spot so there was likely to be less members of the public there than somewhere like Woodhouse Moore/Hyde Park.
When I arrived the park was pretty much empty, so my friend and I – who I’d insisted to be my assistant – had the pick of where would be best. I knew I need to be as high up as possible on the slopping ground, so it was just a choice as to where on this ridge would provide the best angle in relation to the sun, the slight amount of wind and a few groups of people that were around.
I had prep’d the balloon at home, filled it, tied the red ribbon, which I left loose, and the tied fishing wire and then secured this to a brick as a weight.
The shots came out really well, especially because from some angles you couldn’t even see the fishing wire. I had to do a bit of waiting around for the wind so that the ballon would be flying up but I also led on the ground to help get height in the shot.
Because the shots were coming out so well and the conditions seemed almost perfect I decided that instead of going off to do test shots at my other locations I would go home quickly filled some more balloons and come back to this park to do another shoot.
I did not fill all the balloons I had just incase this shoot went wrong and I need to go and do it again another day, not knowing how long the balloons would last with the helium in them.
Unfortunately the wind had pick up by the time we were back, not massively but enough to effect the balloons quite a lot as they are so light. Each balloon was tied to it’s own rock by fishing wire and we set them out in sort of a pyramid formation. This time I had to do a lot me lying around waiting for the balloons to be high enough, but I also asked my assistant to help by pulling on the strings. I took as many photos as possible, had the camera set with a very quick shutter speed, because the balloons were moving around so much. It took a lot of trial and error, as well as patience and at one stage the balloons all go so tangled together as the red ribbon, which was papery was causing a lot of friction, we had to cut all the ribbon off. I knew this would give a different affect in the images but I could not waste the opportunity. I had the balloons set up for about an hour moving them around a bit as well as doing a lot of running around to different positions myself. Then the sun dropped a bit too low and the wind was getting worse so I decided to stop. Coming back from the shoot I wasn’t that confident, I had had a quick scan of the images and I knew from when I was taking them that their had definitely been some shots that could be okay.
However when I got back and looked at the images I realised there were plenty that visually worked really well so I was very pleased, especially because this meant that I could crack on with doing the edits on them – inserting the Love Arts Logo – and this would mean that I was almost a week ahead of the schedule I had for this brief. This would also allow me more time on my other briefs as well as more time to get feed back before the deadline.
Successful Shots from Shoot – need to whittle down the selection much more, but I am proud at how many I managed to get under difficult conditions.