The 41st International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico

October 25, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Hello there, thanks for stopping by,

On the week of October 5th this year, My Father and I flew in to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to photograph the annual International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The nine-day event draws more than 700,000 people from around the world, both balloonists and spectators alike, to the Albuquerque area. As a matter of fact, this Balloon Fiesta is the most photographed balloon event in the world.

As this is my second visit to this event, my goal was to shoot moments and scenes that other photographers do not pay attention to. On this visit, I concentrated more on capturing moments with dramatic or minimal lighting, which requires me to arrive in the balloon park usually an hour before dawn or sunset. The whole trip ended up tiring me out more than it should, because of the lack of sleep. But, I'm pretty happy with some of the photos that I got from the trip.



Equipment wise, I brought the Nikon D800 body with 2 lenses: the 28-70mm and the 70-200mm. Knowing from experience that the D800 has an excellent capability to handle high contrast lighting condition, I took most of my photos during the magic hour of twilight, dawn or dusk. Other than the aperture value, I just let the camera handle all the settings. This way, I only have to worry about two elements: aperture and most importantly, composition. I depended on the D800 to handle the other two components in photography: ISO and shutter speed. The camera didn't disappoint me.


Well, here are some of the photos that I took in this event. Some are more snapshotty than others, since sometimes I just wanted to capture the scenes as they were happening. The event was interrupted a few times because of bad weather. As you can see in one the pictures, a huge supercell cloud with a strong wind came in to the balloon park, which caused the evening glow event to get cancelled. This time, I was very selective and I didn't shoot a lot. My 32 gig compact was not even half full when I got home. Hope you enjoy these pictures.

Thanks for visiting,
Richard

 

 


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