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Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
This event began in 1972 when a man named Sid Cutter helped organize a balloon festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a local radio station. About a dozen hot-air balloons were launched from a parking lot in an Albuquerque shopping mall, and from these modest beginnings, the Fiesta has grown to become the world’s largest annual ballooning festival. It’s also one of the most-photographed events in the country.
Albuquerque is considered the premier city for hot-air ballooning because of its crystal-clear skies, perfect October climate and a phenomenon called the “Albuquerque Box.” The Rio Grande Valley and the surrounding Sandia Mountains create this “box” which protects balloon ascents from strong winds while causing breezes to simultaneously blow in different directions at various altitudes—giving pilots a lot of control when flying their balloons. The 2005 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is being held from September 30–October 9 at Balloon Fiesta Park (see map), and over a thousand balloons from around the world are expected to participate.
What To Photograph
• Special Shape Mass Ascension: This is an opportunity
to photograph themed balloons in a variety of unusual shapes, such as a piggy
bank, motorcycle, polar bear, a string of chili peppers and even a replica of
A Few Photo Pointers
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