One festival that I always look forward to each summer is the Jamesville Balloon Fest! As miserable as it may sound, I have always had these fond memories of waking up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to drive out to Jamesville to see these colorful, wondrous balloons float above the horizon. Its remarkable to me that filling those bags with hot air will be able to pick up a few people hundreds of feet into the air.
So this morning, my Dad and I left the house at 5:30 to catch the launch at 6. It was one of the earliest mornings I have had all summer. The morning was so beautiful. There was this thick fog that just engulfed parts of the city and the surrounding hillsides. Above the fog was a beautifully clear sky that was slowly being warmed with the color of the sun. I knew then that it was going to be a perfect morning for a launch and some good pictures! And I wasn’t the only one with that idea. When we got there, just about every other person was running around with DSLR. Apparently they all too had aspirations of catching these beautifully colored shapes floating against the morning blue sky. We had come at a perfect time too as most of the balloonists had just unrolled their prizes and were opening them up by filling them with air from a fan. You can see in some of these shots the scale of these balloons as you see some people keeping that hole open to let the air in. They were massive. Once the balloon was filled with enough air, they were safely able to fit the burner in there which would inject all of the hot air and cause the balloon to become upright. Once it was upright, 4-6 people would pile in the basket and they would float away! The first few times the balloons launched, my dad and I thought they had failed because after only a minute, they would start to sink right beyond the trees. We learned later that they were sinking just to skim the bottom of their basket on the lake. Once we hear of that challenge, we ran over to the lake to try to find a few balloons attempting this. It was cool to see them do this in the early morning because the water was so still that the balloon cast a perfect reflection on the water!
I hope you all enjoy the vibrant colors of these balloons and try to make it out to the last launch tonight at 6!
These were shot with my Nikon D600 and my 28-75mm f/2.8 lens.