I got to uploading these photos and realized how many I had gotten that I liked, could have processed even more, but I think this is enough. I realize that I am more image centric than verbose here on my blog. I think that is OK, don't you? I mean... it IS a photography blog, might as well post some images.
Hot air balloons are a pretty cool thing, I have always loved seeing them fly, but have not yet been in one. (Some day) They can be devilishly hard to photograph. They are large, but have lots of small details, most balloon festivals start launching around dawn, so you end up with wildly varying exposure compensation settings, depending on backlighting, direct sunlight, sky vs. shadow. I was forced to look at my LCD and review more often than I like to just to make sure I had the right exposure. After the morning was done I realized I was on matrix metering rather than spot metering. Sigh... explains a lot.
Despite the technical challenges of exposure, composition can be tricky, these suckers are big, REALLY BIG! You can go from 10mm to 100mm+ in a blink, and NOBODY makes a lens with those specs! My workhorse was my Pentax 16-85, I also shot a few with my DFA 100. Which is constraining for me, as I usually go wide or go home. This was good, it forced me to look at my compositions differently. Hopefully successfully.
Now on to the parade of images. I will try to not distract from your viewing too much, but I will comment here and there.
I love the juxtaposition of one balloon against another and the textures of the balloon shapes. It almost reminds me of a kaleidoscope when you get a bunch together.
Sunshine, mountains & hot air balloons, what more could you ask for?
I have always been fascinated by the willingness people have to shoot flames into a fabric bag. The heat and power are heady, and the results awe inspiring. Still a little scary though.
Sometimes zooming with your zoom rather than with your feet can provide a nice variation in composition. I honestly can't say which one I like most, but I think the first is the most interesting.
Yes, there were lots of people there. For whatever reason I do not/try to not/forget to include people in my shots, I guess maybe they are less interesting than the balloons?
Chasing them into the surrounding neighborhoods was a highlight for my kids. (Me too if truth be told, but a little nerve wracking when you are the driver AND trying to spot them too!)