Balloon Bust SOLVED!

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last week I showed you a photo of a Mickey Mouse balloon hanging out in the Magic Kingdom: Balloon Bust. I told you there was a flaw with the photo. I asked you to find it and tell me how I could avoid it in the future. I had 12 comments. Thank you! Only two of you told me it was the blue Mickey Mouse balloon which was not sharp and even blurred. That is the flaw.

How to fix it? One did not offer up a way and the other person’s advice was incorrect. What is needed is a faster shutter speed to freeze the balloon as it was moving in the afternoon breeze that day. If you look at the Exif data, you’ll see I am already shooting at the lens’ largest aperture of f/5.6 for the focal length of 200mm giving me the fastest shutter speed of 1/60th of a second for the correct exposure. What am I to do? In the exposure triangle, you have three variables to make a photographic exposure: shutter speed, aperture and ISO. By increasing the ISO and leaving the aperture the same, the shutter speed will increase.

In this case, if I changed the ISO to 400, the shutter speed would double from 1/60 to 1/125. That would be help but I think a faster shutter speed is needed here. Increasing to ISO 800 doubles the shutter speed again to 1/250 which should be enough to remove the blur and get a sharp photo.

Blurring of Mickey Mouse balloon in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Blurring of Mickey Mouse balloon in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 200mm focal length

I know what you are thinking, by increasing the ISO, it increases the digital noise in the image. Most digital SLR cameras of today can handle ISO 800 rather easily with little to no noise at all.

Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

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One Reply to “Balloon Bust SOLVED!”

  1. Just wondering if this would help in macro mode
    for small flowers moving in the wind?
    Thanks.

    Scott replies: Yes, a faster shutter speed would help in macro but movement is so exaggerated at that level. Have you tried putting up wind breaks like an umbrella or something like that?