This past weekend, I made it down to the Waterford Hot Air Balloon Festival. I went for the first time in 2012 and had an awesome time so I definitely wanted to make it to the event every chance I got. Last year, I went to the early morning balloon launch and missed the evening glow so this year, I wanted to make sure I got to see the evening glow and get some shots of that. Last year was also my first time shooting hot air balloons and I really wasn’t all that happy with the shots I got so I was looking forward to getting another crack at it. This year, the event definitely grew in size. I don’t know how many people attended the festival in the evening last year but there was definitely a lot more people there this year during the evening than there was last year during the day. I’m glad to see that the event is doing well because it is a pretty cool event and one that is pretty unique. It definitely draws a good number from the photography community as well!
When I got there Saturday, I noticed that there were a good number of photographers scurrying about on the less populated side of the ropes. I was quite intrigued by this and admittedly, a bit jealous. I surveyed the rope area and noticed that there really wasn’t anyone manning the ropes so I inconspicuously made my way to a corner where the ropes met some trees and bushes. I hung out there for a few minutes and watched as another photographer slid under the rope with what seemed like not a single care in the world. He almost made me think that he was the designated event photographer until I watched another photographer do the same thing. It was at this point that I decided to make my move. I anxiously proceeded to dive under the rope and head over to a much less populated area much closer to the balloons. I was definitely way less inconspicuous as the other two photographers that I saw and as I walked, I was just waiting to hear some unnoticed security guard yell in my direction for me to get back to the other side of the rope. To my surprise, the yelling never happened! I got to an area where there were a couple other people set up with tripods and started snapping a few pictures. I got my tripod set up and got settled in and started snapping away. At one point, I even managed to ease my way up to a balloon and get some shots of the flame erupting out of the burner! This definitely made the trip worth it! I’m quite happy with the shots I got (which can be seen here) and have decided that I’ll be partaking in the evening glow from now on as I plan on making this an annual event. My goal for next year is to actually find a way to go for a ride IN a balloon. We’ll see if I can make that happen! 😉