Though the bus is parked in Albuquerque, I actually started my week in Boston! I had my Kelby Training "From Focus to Finished" seminar to give there and it went great, as usual. On Tuesday, I flew back to Albuquerque and was psyched to hit up the annual Balloon Fiesta that has been going on all week.
The Balloon Fiesta schedule is planned around wind activity as balloons can't go up when there's a lot of wind. Since the calmest times of day are dawn and dusk, that's when the festivities occur. This is actually great news for photographers, because the best light is at dawn and dusk. The only negative is that Karen and I are night owls. Those dawn patrol mornings usually start out with us in zombie mode. It's 100% worth it though!
Saturday morning actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We arrived to the Fiesta grounds late due to traffic, and the parking lots were full and closed. The delay caused us to miss the launch, so by the time we parked, the balloons were already in the sky. At first we were bummed and decided that, instead of paying admission, we would just shoot from the parking lot. Well, it turned out that the wind was in our favor, and the balloons lifted out of the park and sailed directly above us! They proceeded to move toward the mountains, which were blanketed in fresh snow from the night before. Excellent photo op!
The evening glow was also beautiful, and I had some fun playing with the fisheye lens while the balloons lit up. I also experimented with some pseudo time-lapse photography as the balloons were being taken down. You can see those in the video Karen made, which is posted below.
We also found out that two good friends were in the area for the fiesta, so we dropped by a camground area to meet up with Bill & Jody Miller who live in a Prevost bus similar to ours. They started living full-time on their bus at just about the same time as I did and I met them at my first bus rally. I also met up with some Flxible bus nuts at the same campground. That means there were a total of seven people we knew that we got to hang out with while we were in town. And it was close to being eight! I learned that my friend and fellow photographer Laurie Excell was in town for the Fiesta and was holding a small workshop. Karen got to meet up with her briefly, but due to the high pace of the event, our paths never crossed.
Outside of the Balloon Fiesta…
While we spend a lot of time at the Fiesta, there were some other things going on during the week as well. As I mentioned before, we will be traveling to South Africa at the end of the month and lots of planning had to be done. We finally got our travel plans (aka flights) worked out, and got the remainder of the medications and vaccines we'd need for the trip.
It was a bitter sweet week in my technology world. You probably already know the "bitter" part. Steve Jobs, the head dude at Apple passed away at way too young an age. I've been using Apple products since the late 1970's and Steve has been an inspriration to me in many ways, so hearing of his passing was quite a blow mentally.
The "sweet" part was that I got a new laptop and thunderbolt 27" display! I had been wanting to take the leap for a while, and the timing seemed appropriate.
Next up, we should be heading to the Flagstaff, AZ area, via Route 66. More to come!