Balloon Man

Posted by Bettina (Los Angeles, United States) on 30 December 2010 in Documentary & Street and Portfolio.

He was sitting on the corner, barely moving, just staring ahead, propping up the world of fun on a stick.

PhotOpus from Aix-en-Provence, France

Looking relevant on this man. THE world must be infinite to observe situations so different.

30 Dec 2010 5:44am

clodagh smith from Sacramento, United States

this is awesome. I am on the verge of tears and that does not happen a lot

30 Dec 2010 5:53am

Gary from Cochise County, United States

Your description is just as good as the shot. Fun on a stick, catchy.

30 Dec 2010 6:09am

Yvon from Orleans, France

terrefic portrait, Betty

30 Dec 2010 6:19am

sim from k, Iran

i like these kind of pfotos so much tnx for commenting

30 Dec 2010 6:34am

Richard from Duns, United Kingdom


30 Dec 2010 6:59am

Dana from Burbank, United States

So L.A. So still, this story of the immigrant peddler. And a great street portrait.

30 Dec 2010 7:19am

Annie Viguié from Bordeaux, France

Extraordinaire !

30 Dec 2010 7:20am

jpla from St Barthélémy d, France

Il va s'endormir ? Je te souhaite une agréable journée

30 Dec 2010 7:41am

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

super shot, he looks a great character

30 Dec 2010 8:45am

The Mouse from Glasgow, United Kingdom

World of fun indeed, his face portrays it! Great shot mrs.

30 Dec 2010 8:46am

Sam from Chennai, India

Great street portrait of Balloon Man. Your description is more powerful ... :)

30 Dec 2010 8:47am

k@ from Paris, France

In your recent portraits i read a lot of tenderness right now in your heart, and i love that, something sweet the colors & all say. Love how this old man holds so tight the tree of balloons, like an aged kid remembering ole times when he used to run & fly lightly himself. Your image holds a very nostalgic story through your tender eye on him.

30 Dec 2010 8:57am

@k@: You are so kind to say what you say. I haven't turned my camera toward people much lately. There is always a tenderness I feel. Maybe your observation is right, more right now than normal. :) I can see the child in him, too. Just like you. :))

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Love the colors and the composition. A great image ! I wish you a very Happy New Year... all the best for you and yours Bettina :)

30 Dec 2010 9:42am

Jean-Luc from Lyon, France

trought your pics , we can feel your sensibility so well. Ballons look so heavy for this man...a strong portrait, very deep...
Good celebrations and happy new year, Bettina

30 Dec 2010 9:55am

@Jean-Luc: Thank you, Jean-Luc. Very nice of you to say. Happy New Year!

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

True stoicism in the face of poor sales. Poor chap

30 Dec 2010 10:47am

Sally from Glasgow, United Kingdom

Did he lead shoes to hold him to the ground?

30 Dec 2010 11:05am

DowsherVision from PARIS, France

Lovely shot and treatment !!!!!!!!!!

5 *****

30 Dec 2010 11:55am

peter.K from blue mountains, Australia

he looks like a fun guy, not, or maybe just bored stiff...

30 Dec 2010 12:13pm

Franz from Baden, Austria

what is it - resignation, aloofness, sadness? all three together? who knows? what i do know is i like this photo a lot!

30 Dec 2010 12:21pm

klauSZ from Kufstein, Austria

how great is that theme!
i think he looks a little bit boring, or?
great theme, great shot!

30 Dec 2010 1:26pm

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Lost in his own world! A wonderful street capture Bettina! Well done! ;-)

30 Dec 2010 1:45pm

olivier Paillet from toulouse, France

Great catch ! Well done !

30 Dec 2010 1:46pm

STEED from Somewhere, France

Colourful picture......I LOVE IT !!!

30 Dec 2010 3:02pm

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

All these contrast with the colorful balloons sad face. Wonderful portrait. Nice day.

30 Dec 2010 3:08pm

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Wish you a very happy and prosperous new year :).

30 Dec 2010 3:52pm

PATRICK from miramas, France

very great capture

30 Dec 2010 4:05pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States


30 Dec 2010 4:16pm

Melocoton from Salamanca, Spain

beautiful photography
ways of living
silence behind a lifetime
a kiss pablo

30 Dec 2010 4:17pm

@Melocoton: Thank you, Pablo, for all your kind words and encouragement and loveliness!

Don from Spokane, United States

Balloon man looks very stoic under his balloons. He's sold many and one more customer is not that impressive to him any more. Perhaps this is a common result in all our lives of doing something a bit too long! :-)

30 Dec 2010 4:35pm

Isidro from Barcelona, Spain

magnifica compo y color, muy buena, feliz año 2011 !!!

30 Dec 2010 5:15pm

rem_la from Villiers, France

superbe ce portrait !

30 Dec 2010 5:39pm

Eric Laforgue from Ivry sur Seine, France

J'aime beaucoup le décalage entre le côté traditionnel du personnage et la marchandise criarde qu'il vend.
Une bien belle photo.

30 Dec 2010 5:42pm

Charles Dastodd from Chicago, United States

terrific, intimate portrait and great description!

30 Dec 2010 5:49pm

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

Very nice colorful portrait

30 Dec 2010 5:52pm

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Fabulous. He makes the balloons look heavy:)

30 Dec 2010 5:53pm

Sonia Nansid from Barcelona Stockholm, Sweden

The balloons seem to become an umbrella to protect his private space. One only thing if you don't mind me saying, I would have walk closer to him to take the shot (if possible) instead of using a 450mm zoom.

30 Dec 2010 6:18pm

@Sonia Nansid: Hi Sonia, I have been meaning to answer. I would prefer to walk closer too, though I would still want to be stealthy about the shot. But in this case, as is the case in so many instances living in LA, I am in my car and have to catch a shot with the help of the zoom. Of course that doesn't always make for the crispest shot. Especially at that zoom. In this case I was was a red light and only had a few seconds to shoot a couple of images. Crazy LA life. ;)

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

Great shot - he seems to be in a world of his own.

30 Dec 2010 6:36pm

Larry Lefever from Lititz, United States

Atlas with a hat. ;)

30 Dec 2010 7:32pm

@Larry Lefever: Atlas with a hat. That's good. He's not even going to shrug, this Atlas.

Sunder from Chennai, India

Fantastic portrait! Nice colours...

30 Dec 2010 7:46pm

tataray from france, France

Très patient !...))

30 Dec 2010 9:35pm

Philip from Reading, United Kingdom

inflatable aeroplanes. i suppose so.

30 Dec 2010 10:37pm

Philip from Reading, United Kingdom

what a bloody great job.

30 Dec 2010 10:38pm

ORBIT from Kerman, Iran

I want the yellow one, please. : )

30 Dec 2010 11:40pm

Georgie from Sherwood Park, Canada

Everyone has a story...... His crisp, pressed, white shirt shows pride in his work. Wonderful tender portrait!

31 Dec 2010 12:58am

@Georgie: I agree. I admire his shirt.

Becky from los angeles, United States

fantastic documentary shot! it's so touching - so real. Excellent.

31 Dec 2010 3:36am

domlortha from Roanne, France

He looks so sad, but the balloons say: "Joy". Great portrait.
have a nice day.

31 Dec 2010 11:46am

Earnest from Oklahoma, United States

Poignant comment to go with a great pic.

31 Dec 2010 9:20pm

NaDu from Köln, Germany

He holds a universe in his hand. The cut legs of a balloon man are amazing!

1 Jan 2011 7:49am

Susan from Sausalito, United States

Lovely face--half in darkness..such dignity with all those legs and swollen toys. Just a wonderful shot.

1 Jan 2011 9:11pm

Howard F. from South Pasadena, Calif., United States

Huge contrast between the fun he's carrying and his fun-less face. Good catch.

3 Jan 2011 7:03pm

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

This is a brilliant candid/streetwork shot . . I think I would have cropped even closer in to leave little more than him and his balloons . . retaining just his wonderful character !

4 Jan 2011 10:14am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

I guess ballon man ran out of energy. A wonderful portrait of this man letting business come to him.

6 Jan 2011 7:56pm

GIPSY ELENA from Basauri, Spain

..a shot full of both feeling and meaning to me..

19 Mar 2011 10:41am

@GIPSY ELENA: I'm glad. Thank you for visiting me back in time.

Nikon D60
1/2500 second
ISO 800
450 mm (35mm equiv.)

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