2017 Balloon Fiesta Wrap-Up: although the morning mass ascensions last roughly two hours, they contain so much to see! First of all are the “simple” balloons. And then come the “special shapes.” Of course, people of all kinds, along with vendors, pilots and the chase crews, and on and on are there. I have already posted a few of the special shapes. Today I’ll post a few of the “sky jewels.” Most of all, I want to try to give readers a sense of the entire experience.
The slideshow contains 84 images from the Mass Ascension on October 7, 2017. While you may not have been there, I hope this gives a sense of the experience. You may view in full screen by clicking on the icon at the bottom right. You may also control the volume or mute entirely.
If you prefer, you may view the 84 images on one page (or separately) in the Gallery.
Some 2017 “Sky Jewels”
While the “regular” balloons are sometimes called “plain,” they are anything but. Rather, they are very bright and colorful! These are just a few of my favorites.
2017: A Perfect Fiesta
Although winds for tomorrow’s Mass Ascension remain in question, the weather this week has been unbelievably good for the balloons. Especially relevant is that all events, so far, have gone off as scheduled. If you could not be here for the Fiesta – or even if you were – I hope you enjoy the images.
2017 Balloon Fiesta, Part 1: A Few of the Special Shapes
2017 Balloon Fiesta, officially the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, sponsored by Canon, began October 7 this year. The day before was pretty windy, which is important. The balloons will not take off, at least for Mass Ascension, if the winds are over 10 mph. But, the forecast for Saturday morning called for calm winds. So, I took a chance and bought a Park and Ride ticket Friday afternoon for the Saturday morning events.
I was at the Park and Ride at 5:00am, got on a bus at 5:30am (the longest I ever had to wait over the years), and did not reach the Balloon Field until 7:20am. I can say the Park and Ride system had a few problems that day. Dawn Patrol, something I had really wanted to photograph this year with a dSLR instead of phone, along with opening ceremonies and the beginning of Mass Ascension ended long before I arrived. Maybe another day this year – or next… Once you are actually there, the problems getting there seem not to matter too much!
The start of this year’s Balloon Fiesta is almost a week later than last year’s. The light was definitely different. The mass ascension, starting at 7:00am, definitely began in less light (on a very clear day!). But, the moon was almost full, just beginning to wane. Here, in the foreground, is a balloon beginning to inflate. Behind it, the moon is setting and a colorful hot air balloon is rising. The magic was underway!
Some of the Special Shapes on Saturday
That’s it for this post. Many more images – both special shapes and the simpler sky jewels – to come over time.
The 2016 Balloon Fiesta has ended, after what was a truly glorious week. Hopefully, the 74 images in this slideshow will give you a feel for the beauty of a Mass Ascension on an autumn morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The images may be seen in Full Screen mode by clicking on the small button on the lower right of the slideshow screen. Enjoy.
All the images in this slide show are available as photographic prints. Some are also available as canvas wraps, prints on metal, and small, miscellaneous items such as mouse pads, playing cards, tote bags, etc. Please visit the Portfolio site if you are interested.
On this Monday morning, here is just a taste of the joy seen at the 2016 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta: