I truly have never experienced anything like this. EVER! I was so over taken by the moments around all these balloons that I had to keep telling myself that I am here to take photographs, not act like a gaping tourist. However, I must tell you that most of the people there had their mouths open in astonishment. It was so unbelievable. I have never seen so many balloons at one time in my entire life. Not only that, they are not just American. Mr. Fish (last photo) came from Brasil. There was a couple there from Yugoslavia, another person from England. They come from all over for this event. Once a year in October, the winds are right, the barometer is right, and the weather is right. So they all meet in Albuquerque.

I took the balloon trip. Yes, it cost $400.00 for one hour. Guess what, there are hundreds of people all standing in line waiting to go long before the sun comes up. We all had to pay in advance. I paid 4 months in advance. You can't just show up on that day and request as balloon ride. It ain't going to happen!!!

So what is it like? It would be incorrect to say you are flying. You are floating. You float up, you float sideways, you float down, etc. What if you are scared of height? Well, I am not, but I would say that you are so focused on the balloons on the ground, in the air and all around you stop thinking about all of that. From a photography stand point it was a target rich environment. I wish that I had two cameras with me so I did not have to stop and change lenses. Shooting was that fast. So beautiful, especially over the Rio Grande. Yes, the same Rio Grande Donald Trump is trying to build his wall around. Except that is down in Texas, not the middle of New Mexico.

I used a Nikon D810, with an assortment of lenses. Mostly my Nikon 17 to 35mm F/2.8 and the Nikon 105mm F/1.4. Why not use your 200mm F/2???? Well, you need to see the balloons in relationship to other balloons and the terrain features. That gives it perspective. A 200mm would be two narrow a focus for this type of photography.

Click on each photograph if you want to see it in more detail.