Balloon Fiesta Lift-Off.....

by Russell Smith October. 15, 2019 231 views

Saturday morning on the 12th of Oct. we got up early and went to a location that we scouted the evening before. It was a distance from the balloons and on higher elevation so we guess it would be a cool spot to go and watch. At 0630 in the Morning local time it was still plenty dark. So before I set up the tripod I decided to take a test shot and also a shot to give you an idea that it was dark.

The first few balloon that went up reminded me of fireflys or lightening bugs depending on where you live.

Another test shot to see where the iso needed to be while this shot is grainy it gives me a starting point.

As the sun started rising over the mountain to my back the sky started getting a nice soft pastel glow. Then I noticed something........ I was dealing with heat haze. Hmmmm heat haze at 0c or 32f ....... I thought a moment and then it made sense. I was higher elevation with limited concrete so we were cooler than down in the town. Ok lesson learned lets work with it. I also gabbed a few shots every few moments during this time while I was waiting on the sun to crest the mountain peak so it would shine on the balloons. \

As the balloons took off they floated south towards downtown and then once they got a bit higher they would float back to the north so we would watch them go right to left at a lower altitude then right to left once they got higher.

I had two Ravens photobomb the shot.

In the lower right side of the frame you see the balloons on the ground. They would launch a batch then 10 or so min later would launch another batch . This field where they were launching from is 1 mile long and 1/2 mile wide to give you an idea of how far away we were. They had a few balloon that were shaped like animals or characters like Darth Vader or Yoda.

I think this balloon missed the memo about flying higher to go back to the north or they wanted a view of Downtown.

I wanted to play with one of the shots to see what I could do with a black and white conversion. Jury's still out in my mind about if I like it or hate it.

This is our vantage point .... Safely off the road by a good 50 meters with a line of cars behind us doing the same thing we were doing.

A pano of the wider view that we were enjoying. The next post will be from the Glow (evening event) . I hope you are having a great day or had a great day :) ... Time to get the bread going for dinner and catch up on a few posts while it rises.

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There are 17 comments , add yours!
Buster Bruce 4 months ago

You never mentioned exactly where this was? I assume New Mexico?  Great series

4 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Buster Bruce 4 months ago

Albuquerque, New Mexico the International Balloon Fiesta.

4 months ago Edited
Buster Bruce Replied to Russell Smith 4 months ago


4 months ago Edited
Varsha Arun 4 months ago

Always wanted to ride a hot air balloon! Is this an annual festival? 
#9 is my favourite... Cool idea for a series....

4 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Varsha Arun 4 months ago

Riding in a hot air balloon basket is still on my bucket list. It is an annual festival and it is the most photographed event that there is at the moment.

4 months ago Edited
Varsha Arun Replied to Russell Smith 4 months ago

I see, it must be a sight to behold...

4 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 4 months ago

To ride inside a balloon is one of the most beautiful experiences I had in my life.

4 months ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Antonio Gil 4 months ago

That is still on the bucket list. :)

4 months ago Edited
Diana Varey 4 months, 1 week ago

Very cool. This event is on my bucket list. Someday!

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Diana Varey 4 months ago

It is a awesome experience.

4 months ago Edited
Benny Law 4 months, 1 week ago

I'm surprised ravens fly that high. They must have been curious to see all these balloons.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Benny Law 4 months ago

Honestly the ravens were maybe 50-75 up right then it looks higher because of the slope downhill.

4 months ago Edited
Sherry Hill 4 months, 1 week ago

that is A LOT of balloons at once.. we have a fairly large balloon fest here in my area, the Adirondacks.. does not compare to that..

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Sherry Hill 4 months ago

One of the coolest things about this fest is you can go onto the field and right up to the balloons

4 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 4 months, 1 week ago

What fun! Thanks for the blow-by-blow coverage of these wind-guided missles!
Enjoyed your commentary's always!!+1grinning+1

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Jay Boggess 4 months ago

:) thank you

4 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Russell Smith 4 months ago

Always a Pleasure, Russell!+1

4 months ago Edited