A Photo In The Life Of

A Photo In the Life Of is a weekly photo blog written by Larry Lewis. Topics include photo opportunities, past and present, product reviews and other topics of interest to photographers and photo lovers.

The Ballooning Post - Balancing Vacation and Photography

There is nothing better than to have a new, exhilarating experience and to have your camera with you. I had one of these experiences in the Arizona desert in 2006 when Yvonne and I went on our first ride in a hot air balloon.  

For many of us photo-enthusiasts, vacation time is the time to get out your camera for some 'serious' shooting. Suddenly you have a week or two when you have time to practice your skills without the distractions, responsibilities and commitments of everyday life. I believe the best vacations are the ones when you have a memorable time and get some great photography as a bonus. 

When on vacation we are exposed to cultures, architecture, nature and landscapes that are different than what we experience in our regular life. We find ourselves more aware of our visual surroundings and often think in terms of visualizing the perfect photo image. Additionally we wear our 'tourist hat' which helps us lose some of our inhibitions about shooting in public, allowing us to click, click and click when we would be more reserved at home. The results, often times, are a step above the images we shoot when at home. Even vacationing at 'the cottage' produces impressive shots due to the additional time behind the camera.

Make sure you get some pictures of yourself when on vacation!

Problems sometimes arise when we get too immersed in our photography. Our focus becomes too narrow both literally and figuratively. We become blind to the special ambiance of the moment in our pursuit of the perfect shot. Many times we don't realize what we have missed until the day is over and our companions are reminiscing about that day's events.

I strive to strike a balance between my photography, family  and everything else that goes with vacationing. A few rules that I try to follow are:

  1. Keep moving, rather than lingering too long photographing one subject. Take one or two images from chosen angles and move on. The added benefit of moving is that you will have time to shoot more subjects.
  2. Shoot some selfies and family shots. This will keep you engaged socially and the results are more interesting in the photo album.
  3. Keep your camera bag light. Less time fussing with a large amount of equipment means more time enjoying the moment. (but try to bring your tripod or monopod!)
  4. Finally, accept that you aren't going to shoot everything and all your images won't be perfect. In most cases if you like the area you can come back another time. I find that my best images are usually shot in the first tow or three exposures anyway.

The images that I have featured today were shot on a hot air balloon ride with Yvonne when we were on vacation in Arizona. It was one of my favorite vacations. My photography was successful because it reminds me to the day we spent with in a balloon with Bill. our pilot, and the others in our group, including a Cardinals fan from St. Louis who was a lot of fun to talk with. Yvonne and I still laugh when  reminiscing about the crazy driver speeding us through the desert before sunrise to the mobile launch pad (which was a tarp!), the champagne brunch in the desert after the flight and everything in between. To this day I'm also very happy with the resulting images. I hope you enjoy them.


A Photo In The Life Of is a weekly PHOTO blog on LARRYLEWISPHOTO.COM.   It is an evolution of my original blog A Photo in the life of  that began in 2006.  I hope to give a little context to my photography and maybe make a few new photography friends. To purchase a print visit Shop. If the image is not listed Contact Me for availability.

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