Wednesday, October 08, 2014


This year's Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque got sandwiched in with the remnants of a couple hurricanes from the Gulf of California, but it has gone pretty smoothly.  I don't have much tolerance for the crowds at the launch site, but an early morning breeze often brings a good number of balloons over the neighborhood and one often lands nearby.

Even in calm air it is a tricky business to bring a balloon down on city streets.

This star spangled craft touched down in a dead-end a couple blocks from our house.

The chase vehicles delivered fresh propane bottles and a new load of passengers.

The balloon took off again and joined the pack heading south.

I decided one morning to try following one of the balloons with my motorcycle.  I thought I would intercept the landing near Old Town, but I ended up on a tortuous chase which took me deep into Albuquerque's South Valley.  I watched the balloon come to ground finally in a mobile home park near Coors Blvd.

I used 135 and 50mm Takumar lenses on my Pentax K1000 for these pictures.  I thought the combination did a pretty good job, though a zoom might have made the shoot a little easier.


JR Smith said...

Old cameras, film and motorcycles? You are a brave man!

My Albuquerque client was on Coors By-Pass, so I spent a lot of time on that side of town. I miss coming to Albuquerque.

Mike said...

In my defense, I didn't attempt any photographs while I was on the motorcycle.

Julio F said...

Great pursuit, indeed a zoom may be best for these subjects. An 80-200 has worked nicely for me in air shows, although sometimes I wished for something a bit longer.

Those deep blue skies and colored balloons are the ultimate bright color subject.

Mike said...

If I had gotten my brain properly in gear I could have used my Nikon EM with its 35-70 zoom. It has a bit of a problem with the central focus area blacking out if your eye isn't in just the right position, but it probably would have done ok with this subject.