Saturday, December 1, 2012

ABQ Balloon Fiesta: Balloon Glow and Fireworks

Hey, remember how I went to New Mexico almost two months ago? Time to get back to the photos! This is my first Saturday, in what seems like forever, that I've been home with a working computer. I've been working to customize my new laptop to my liking, and it's a fairly long process (I'm picky), but it's always nice to have a fresh start. I even backed up my files for the first time (I know!).

Anyway. How are you? Happy December! And now, enjoy some photos from the Balloon Glow event at the Balloon Fiesta. We'll see how much I remember from that night.

Have you ever been to a balloon glow? Basically, in the evening the participating hot air balloons inflate their balloons with no intention of leaving the ground. They are just for looks.

Most balloon owners have little collector cards that they hand out to kids who ask, so this is a time for people to wander around and do that. In my limited experience, and my sister's much less limited experience, balloon pilots are very friendly and love to talk to people about their balloon.

This wasn't shape night, but there are lots of nontraditional balloons to see.

Also, nontraditional hats.

It's getting darker and about time to start up the glow portion of the night.

The balloons naturally glow a bit when the pilot gives it a little burst of fire to keep it up, but when they turn it on full blast (I obviously know all the technical jargon), it lights up the entire balloon very brightly. The announcer counts down with the crowd and all of the balloons in one area will blast the flame for a few seconds so that they all light up at around the same time. It's enough time to get some photos.

They do the countdown several times, which means I have several pictures. Not every balloon participates in every countdown or at the exact same moment.

After it got pretty dark and things were about to wrap up with the glowing portion of the night, we all went back to our blankets and chairs to get ready for the fireworks.

My nephew wanted a photo in front of the black eagle balloon, though I didn't mean to make it look like he was wearing a balloon hat. He's holding one of the collector cards. The exposure time on this photo was like 2+ seconds, so I happened to catch someone walking by twirling their glowing necklaces (or something like that?). That's the glowing mess of stripes on the right side of his head.

I love this photo of my niece, S. She wasn't feeling very well (hence the Sprite), but she looks great!

Time for the fireworks show! I was looking forward to this both because I rrrrreally enjoyed it when I saw it in 2010, and also because I was excited to practice firework photos with my sister's tripod. Here are my favorites.

Not a great shot, but it looks like a flower, so I kept it.

The fireworks obviously exploded at different heights in the sky, but I had to press the shutter before I saw them, so they sometimes went out of the frame.

This is just funny because again someone walked by with their glowing necklaces and created this design across the top of the photo.

I believe the exposure time on most of these was 8-10 seconds.

The best part of the show (spoiler alert!) is when the fireworks stop and it seems like it's over, but then they start up this whole row of them 90 degrees from where the first set were going off. It's a fun surprise and the crowd loves it. They spanned so wide that my camera couldn't fit the whole scene.

Then the sideshow ends and they appear again at the first location where they do the grand finale. It's the best fireworks show I've seen. I heartily recommend it!

More Albuquerque photos to come, and then I can go back to Mexico photos. :) Thanks for looking.

Another topic: Have you done any Christmas shopping?


  1. Thank you! So glad I got to see these photos! There seem to be a lot of balloons that weren't at the mass ascension that I attended. The fireworks display turned out fabulous!

  2. Great pictures! Especially your firework photos ... impressive! Glad to FINALLY get to see these. :)

  3. I didn't know about the balloon glow, that's really interesting!

    I really like the picture of C...I like the fact that it's very "busy", makes for a cool artsy looking shot.

    The firework pics are just spectacular! Very nice!



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