The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon event in the world. Last year, Darlene Fiske reported for us on the festivities. This year, we found this mesmerizing time-lapse video by Joel Schat, so we asked him about his trip.
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – Shooting the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was an amazing experience filled with early mornings and, well, hot air balloons. Every day, I would wake up somewhere around 4 a.m. and rush to the field in time for Dawn Patrol. This was the hardest part to shoot but the most beautiful. It was very cold, but once the sun came up and Mass Ascension began, it was worth the early wake-up call. Everywhere you look, balloons are being filled and taking off — more than 500 every day — so I spent my days rushing from location to location trying to capture it all. It was a particulalry interesting subject to time-lapse because the balloons move deceptively fast once they are up in the sky. I had to shoot at an interval of one frame per 0.6 seconds. It was a fabulous week, and I can't wait to come back next year to shoot it again.