My Balloon Fiesta Bucket List Adventure!
Thursday after I shot the Boot Brawl charity event, I headed out to Albuquerque for my My Balloon Fiesta Bucket List Adventure! I had always wanted to go to the Balloon Fiesta to take photos and somehow never planned it out. So when I started seeing photos appearing on Instagram from the week’s festivities- I knew that I had to make some moves. I finished shooting the charity event, filled my gas tank and rolled out of Las Vegas by myself by 4:15pm..
Now for my friends that know me, getting in the car for an 8 hour drive is really nothing to me.. I put the car on cruise control- turn on the music and go. It’s my think time, it’s my chance to see what’s out there & I often stop to take photos along the way.. I won’t bore you with the details of the drive other than I stopped to take a nap along the way and still made it in 9 hours with an arrival time of 2:30am..
I got a couple hours sleep when I arrived but I was up excited by 5am to start getting ready.. I grabbed breakfast around 6 with my friend Arthur and we started making my our way to the Balloon Fiesta. I had misanticipated my times, and the balloons were already mostly blown up by the time we parked, and many of them going up in the air. Nonetheless, I still was like a little kid in a candy store; I had both of my cameras out, tripod, phone, and iPad going to take pics, and post to my social media…
Parking was $10 and the festival was supposed to be $8 but they just ushered us in without paying when we walked up. There’s a morning session and an evening session.. Unfortunately when my friend Arthur and I came back for the evening session, although there were tons of booths to shop from, food to eat, and live entertainment, the weather wasn’t conducive to having the balloons take off that evening… I knew it was optimal rainbow weather, and as we patiently (or impatiently) waited, the sky did not disappoint!!
Here are the pics for day one, make sure you keep reading below for day 2!
For Day 2, there was no way I was going to be late this time and I left for the event around 5am, this day going by myself. In spite of my effort to get there early and it only being a 15 min drive, it was Saturday morning and the traffic was ridiculous to the event and it took me almost 2 hours till I was out of my car. They started letting all the cars in free because of how bad it was backed up; it wasn’t long till I was purchasing my ticket to the event and walking through the gates.
They had the Glowdeo going and a number of the balloons were already in the air. It was really neat to see them “glowing” against the dark indigo sky of the early morning as the Balloons kept their burners on for long periods of time. I ran through crowds of people and I just shot different angles of what I saw going on. I was grinning ear to ear for the next hour and a half as I navigated through the rolling sea of people all with their heads pointed up towards the sky. Everytime a balloon took off from the ground, the crowd in the area would cheer and if it was a shape balloon, the crowd would celebrate. The lighting was definitely challenging to keep up with as the sun made it’s appearance over the beautifully cloudy, Albuquerque morning sky.
I took hundreds of photos on a limited time schedule because I had made a last minute decision to detour through Page, AZ to watch the sunset over Horseshoe Bend.. As I was heading toward the exit around 8:45, I came across an open area in the grass with a number of balloons not yet taken off in the background. So I set up my tripod and turned on the timer, and managed by the 4th shot to have timed my jump perfectly and successfully shot one of my best selfies ever! I walked out of the Fiesta feeling ecstatic about the photos I had gotten and the experience I had over the previous 30 hours!