Sunday, 7 February 2010

Success and Failure

Enjoying what you are doing is not always dependent on succeeding, though when you do it is great too. I had a great time last week shooting some pictures with a 35mm Holga Pinhole camera. I'd not used one before but I was delighted with the results, here is one of the pictures, there will be others on the 'Gallery' page of over the next few days.

Not all I have been doing has been quite so successful, you may have seen the adverts for HSBC featuring the 'good luck' hot air balloons... Laura, my wife, and I decided that it would be great fun to try this out and with the assistance of her brother Mark and his wife Denise and our collective nice Alexa we set about building tissue paper balloons to fly from the garden.

Before long the kitchen table looked like the set of Blue Peter, double sided tape, tissue paper, improvised fuel cells, coat-hanger wire and a dusting of rather exotic language (that's what I remember most about Blue Peter - the language) spread out everywhere, until, by degrees a pair of balloons emerged which we were quite proud of.

The first balloon failed to get off the ground, the envelope was too small and the wire was too heavy (with some modification we may be able to salvage something from this though). The second balloon, which was larger and equipped with lighter wire looked just the part and we got it well inflated and ready to launch.
It just lacked sufficient lift though and sank gracefully to the ground if released. We did have fun though when it tipped slightly and the edge caught light! Self fuelling it flew like a dream; for about 30 feet where it lodged in a tree and burned out in a few seconds, leaving not a trace...

I felt that there was a distinct parallel between the two experiences. In neither case did I really know what the end result would be, sure I knew what I wanted; beautiful pictures and unmanned flight - but what you get has much to do with your experience. I know about photography and am able to predict to a degree what is going to happen. I don't know about ballooning so I have to try things until they work.

If you try to use a Holga, or some other camera and you don't get what you expect you will still have learned something and you could then ask for help in correcting the problems to have a better chance of succeeding next time. I will of course be off to my local branch of HSBC in the morning to ask where I went wrong in my Ballooning...

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