What a great time! We just completed the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. I got to fly 5 out of the 9 days. I was part of 600 hot air balloons that attended the 47th year of Fiesta.
Why only 5 flights you ask? Well, for the most part, weather.
Weather is a major element of the decision to fly. In this first installment of sharing my images with you, it is really the weather that I am capturing. On more than one morning, I flew with weather surrounding me. Both virga (rain that dissipates before it hits the ground) and rain surrounded us in all directions. It became a photographers delight seeing God Rays (crepuscular rays), rainbows, and sweeping virga as elements for the background of the gorgeous balloons. Like all weather, it changed dramatically minute by minute.
The first image that called to me to capture it was the rain falling over the south end of the 10,678 foot tall Sandia mountains. The 90 foot tall balloon was dwarfed by the emense hill but it rose to a point where it became an important element in the composition separated by the contrast of the falling moisture.
The second image that I needed to make was far to tmy northwest where a partial but well-saturated rainbow had a balloon flying right down the middle of it.
If not the virga or the rainbows, magnificent low clouds were hiding the majestic Sandia’s all with different groupings of beautiful balloons.
Living in Phoenix, Arizona, we are very accustom to blue skies. Seeing images of my balloon is usually against a blue sky background, making all of the images seem like they were taken on the same day. Having the meteorological display to play with made these morning flights outstanding for this photographer/pilot to fly in and capture the uniqueness of Fiesta!
I hope that you enjoy these images. All of my images are for sale if you would like to enjoy them in your home or office!
Ken Sklute has been honored as one of Canon’s Explorers of Light, a designation shared by only 60 top photographers worldwide. Ken has enjoyed a diverse career photographing landscapes, professional sports, and people.
Phone: (602) 738-0601