Where The Beauty Is

Golden flight.

This is another event that the pandemic killed for this year. The Albuquerque Balloon Festa was supposed to fly for its 49th year. You might think that being out on a cold and windy balloon field would be safe enough, but people come from all over the world. They need places to stay, places to eat and places to recreate.


No go for 2020.

When we were living there, attending was no big deal. I would ask any one of a number of picture editors to write me a letter of assignment. I would go the day before the event began and secure my credentials, which included the all important parking pass. I could also book a flight if I wanted, but I don’t like to get trapped anywhere when I’m working. By the third year, my face was enough for credentials.

The really good thing was the commute time. Fifteen minutes from door to parking lot, except for the time I made my best picture ever of a balloon lift off. I would generally roll up I-25. Usually, timing wasn’t an issue. On one particular morning there was a string of traffic accidents on the interstate which slowed traffic to a crawl.

Living in a place that you are working has its perks. One is that I knew my way around. I picked my way through surface streets and came around behind the balloon field, looking directly into the sun.

This picture is not that. This is an unpublished photograph. I might post the “great” picture tomorrow. It’s just that I try to stay away from reposting, although it’s been awhile.

This is an image I made almost on top of our home during a morning lift off that went bad because there was too much wind. It broke down the “box” which is how the wind plays off of the Sandia Mountains and keeps the air fairly stable.

I just drove the streets, chasing balloons until I ran out of card space. I had more energy back then. I think I made too many exposures. But, you never know.

Stories about pictures are fun, yes? Some people like to read about me. That’s pretty cool. But, I’m mostly interested in pictures and how they came to be.

In the main story I told you how I chased around, which is mostly what making pictures takes. You can’t give up if you want something that you like.

This picture was likely made with a longer lens. I needed the compression and I wanted the graphic shapes. A friend of mine posted on Instagram that the best thing about a telephoto lens is that it gets you closer to the subject.


That’s what legs and motors are for.

Long lenses help to make pictures like this one. For sure, it got me closer but that wasn’t my main intent.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Enjoy every enchilada.



2 responses to “Where The Beauty Is”

  1. sloppy buddhist Avatar

    I like the feeling you created with the balloons…painterly…maybe some cherry jello 🙋‍♀️💫

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Most of that actually came from nature because of backlighting and sort of foggy conditions. Mostly, I just added glow and made sure the balloon color wasn’t overwhelmed. Mix red with green jello. Brown, not Christmasy.

      Liked by 1 person

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