Hot Air Balloon Festival Timelapse Photography

In the pre-dawn darkness, dozens of vividly colored globes start to flicker and float up into the sky. They’re hot air balloons, and more than 700 of them will fill the skies over the nine days of Albuquerque’s 42nd annual International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. This past October, Joel Schat captured the festivities with a timelapse video showing the journey of the brightly colored balloons from dawn until dusk:

They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some look like cartoon characters taking a walk through the clouds. Seeing one or two balloons on a late summer evening might be a lovely sight, but seeing hundreds of them littered across the horizons looks a a rainbow exploded in the sky—a photographer’s dream. And according to Schat, many photographers arrive at the event as early as 4 a.m. to catch the very first balloons—called “The Dawn Patrol”—lighting up the still-dark sky.

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To shoot the timelapse sequence, Schat used a Canon 6d with the following lenses: Rokinon 14mm f/2.8Canon 16-35mm f/2.8Canon 24-70mm f/2.8, with an Emotimo TB3 Black for motion control.

For Further Training on Timelapse Photography:

There is a COMPLETE guide (146 pages) to shooting, processing and rendering time-lapses using a dslr camera. It can be found here: The Timelapse Photography Guide

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