“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” ~ Samuel Beckett

by DaniGirl on April 11, 2012 · 6 comments

in Photography

This is a story about trying, and failing, and ultimately succeeding. More importantly, it’s a story about how my menfolk love me enough to tolerate my cockamamie ideas, indulge my silly whims, and play along with humour and good grace.

“I have an idea!” I announced to Beloved. He eyeballed the bunch of red balloons I was clutching with a look somewhere between curiousity and dismay. “I need your help, though,” I continued, and the look shifted to something closer to resignation. “And a ladder.” And the look coalesced into dread.

A couple of the groups I follow on Flickr offered a theme recently based on balloons, and in considering balloons, I came up with a concept. I’d wanted to try a “flying” shot for some time, where you balance on something like a chair or ladder and then clone out whatever you’re perched on in Photoshop. What if, I wondered… what if I perched the boys up on a ladder, clutching a handful of red balloons. I could get down low, with a wide-angle lens, and shoot up against the sky. Then I’d clone out the ladder, and it would look like they’re floating away with the balloons. How fun would that be?

I sketched it out for Beloved, and to his everlasting credit, he neither laughed nor balked. He even helped me load the load the ladder into the car. The boys also went along willingly enough when I explained the idea to them, although I’m pretty sure Lucas thought he might actually be floating away.

And then we got to the big open field I’d scouted out a few days before, and the faint breeze condensed into a gale force wind that made the balloons blow out horizontally instead of floating gracefully skyward. And the kids started shoving each other when I tried to stack them up on the ladder. And someone decided he was afraid of heights. And they started bickering about who would hold the balloons. And it looked nowhere near what I had imagined.

This? Is not what I had in mind.

Balloon outtake 1

And so instead of shooting what I had imagined, I started shooting what was in front of me.

The red balloon session

The red balloon session

The red balloon session

Oops, almost missed this last addition to the red balloon session. OK, now I'm done!

This just makes me laugh. “Okay, now RUN! RUN! Okay, wait, run the other way!!!”

Balloon outtake 3

In the end, I turned this:

Balloon outtake 2

Into this:

The red balloon session

Totally not what I had in mind. And yet, totally wonderful.

As I said to Tristan, every time you try something and it doesn’t go according to your plans, at least you learn something for the next time. What I learned? That my menfolk love me very much, and are willing to put up with a whole lot of silliness on my behalf. 🙂

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chantal April 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Wonderful family you have there!

2 Mary @ Parenthood April 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm


3 Carly April 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Love this! Totally love it.

4 Anonymous April 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Fabulous turn of events and photography!

5 Lisa May 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm

You know, things pretty much NEVER work out the way I envision either. Sometimes they are better, sometimes they are just plain wack. Good for you for persevering and rolling with the punches, the results may not be what you wanted but they do have value and meaning and that’s what truly matters. Right?

P.S. I loves me some red balloons, too.

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: