The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival attracts nearly one million visitors during the nine days of this annual event. My family would attend several days a year whenever possible, and we were especially interested in the special shape balloons. I have attended at least a dozen days of the early morning balloon lift-off events.
At times the event gets cancelled due to high winds, while other times see the balloons lift off and land in the same spot due to zero wind. The ideal day involves a light breeze in the direction of the nearby Rio Grand river, where the balloons can skim their gondola baskets along the surface providing their paying passengers with lots of excitement. By the time my impromptu trip in October 2015 was planned, there were no openings for me to take my first balloon ride, but that will be something to look forward to on future visits.
As a photographer, my goal is to catch some interaction between the special shaped balloons. For example, a bear looking at Noah’s Ark, as if trying seeing if there is any additional room.
or a bald eagle looking at Uncle Sam.
or the Creamland Dairy cow seeming to drop in on Noah’s Ark.
In the absence of any interaction between the special shaped balloons, I’ll look for abstract designs,
Or partially inflated balloons looking a bit forlorn…
To provide a bit of scale, here is a silhouette of a man walking inside of the balloon.
The International Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is held annually in early October, for 2016 the dates will be October 1-9. It is an entertaining time with visual sensory overload for hours at a time.