I got some really exciting news recently: I was awarded the Grand Prize for the 2018 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Photo Contest. Touted as the “most photographed event in the world” (at least by the marketing team in Albuquerque), it is quite a honor and certainly one of my highlights for 2018.
The funny thing is, I didn’t plan to go to this event (my wife, Anita, planned it as a ‘bucket list’ trip). I didn’t plan to enter the contest…again, Anita got me to do it (after asking me about a million times). So like most of the good things in my life, I have Anita to thank!
We attended 5 days of the week-long Fiesta which allowed me to scout the venue and plan this shot well in advance. This particular morning was one in which they launch the ‘Special Shape’ Balloons…which includes everything from Darth Vader to Stagecoaches. I positioned my tripod on the embankment on the north side of the huge Balloon Park and made this 6 frame panorama soon after sunrise. The wonderful side-lighting really worked wonders with the explosion of enthusiastic colors exhibited by the mass of unique balloons.
Some of my other shots from the Fiesta:
Photography for me is really not about contests: it’s a way for me to express my creative side and encourage me to explore the world. Just the same, this isn’t a shabby way to start the year!