(Weekly Photo Challenge – Inside) The Eye of A Balloon — 5* Pix








Total Shots taken 543
Number Acceptable for Future activity 90
Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %) 10 (selected for this challenge)

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is lauded as one of the most photographed events in the world.  So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to participate in that little slice of Photographer’s Heaven in 2012, I was all for it!  This event is heralded as the largest festival of its type, and has on average 750 hot air balloons.  Being on the field presents a lot of photo ops – balloons in the sky above the crowds, entranced faces of adults and children alike, specialty balloons, the contrasting size of  people in comparison to the balloons….  I could go on and on.  In this post, I am going to focus on images featuring the inside of the balloon, and save some of the other images for another post.

The field from where the balloons are launched is laid out like a grid – each balloonist has a specific launching point.  The field is vast filled with hundreds of balloon crews, and even from afar it makes great images.  What I didn’t know is that they let you get close!  The balloon crews enjoy the opportunity to speak with the spectators, so once I found that out, I was THERE!  These shots were taken right next to where they launched the balloons, and the crews helped make them happen.

So many possible shots, so little time!  After finding out I could get close, my goal was to get shot through the eye of the balloon, where the flames shoot out, creating the hot air needed to raise the balloons.  Here are my 5* shots from the 2012 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta — all featuring the inside of the balloon:

  •  Snapping the End #1 – the balloons are 78 feet high, so it takes a crew of more than four persons to launch a balloon.  One of their key tasks is to close the end of the balloon, capping it so that the hot air will stay inside, allowing the balloon to rise.  In this image, taken from the open end, you can see the crew preparing to snap the end.
  • Snapping the End #2 – In this image, also taken from the open end, you can see the silhouette of the crew members snapping the cover on the balloon.
  • The size and majesty of the balloons is certainly one of the notable aspects of the Fiesta, but so is the abundance of color.  These two images, also showing the snapping of the balloon cover from the inside, and the shadow of the crew are just my way of ensuring you enjoy the colorful display as well.
    • Snapping the End #3
    • Snapping the End #4
  • From the Other End – Well, when a crew member calls you over so you can take a picture from the end BEFORE they snap it closed, let me tell you, you take it! That is how I got THIS shot, looking at the basket from the top side.
  • Fire in the Hole! – Well, you can’t beat getting an image of the flame that creates the hot air in the balloon.
  • The Money Shot – One of the highly images profiled on bing (www.bing.com)  on the opening day of the fiesta was a image of the inside of the balloon fully  extended and inflated – this is my version of that image!

In keeping with the photo challenge, all these photos show the inside of the hot air balloons.  Hope you enjoy this unique perspective – my 5* selections!

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