Of course it would happen on one of the coldest days of February, but the hardy PHOTON photo club members braved the cold. We attended the Hudson Hot Air Balloon Festival on Saturday, Feb 8th, 2020. This year was the 30th year of the event and it started before sunrise on Saturday. So not only was it cold, (like 5 below) it was early!
It was a great opportunity to see the balloons and their crews up close. We could walk right up and watch them prep and launch the balloons. The photo opportunities were fantastic. We were so close that an extreme wide-angle lens was helpful to get the whole balloon in, otherwise we had to back up across the parking lot. Balloons started prepping and launching about 7:15 and for the next hour and half approximately 22 balloons left the ground and headed north east above the city. The sky was cloudy at first but started to clear at the end of the launch window.
There was 3 schedule launch times, Saturday 7ish, again at 3ish and Sunday morning at 7ish. We heard the 3 o’clock and Sundays launch was scrubbed due to wind/weather. However we there was a “Moonglow” event at 6:30 on Saturday where they would line up the balloons and then light them up with the flames. A few of us went back for that and it was amazing as well. Still cold. Yes, that is the full moon in the sky behind the balloons at night.
There were eight of us (that I know of) me, Scott G, Kathy E, Sarah J, Ruth, Greg, Craig, and Emily. Each of us headed into the crowd and looked for angles, and stories. Fingers and toes got numb, cameras slowed down but we took hundreds and hundreds of images. In the gallery we have posted some of our favorite images.
We hope you enjoy the images. Gallery below contains images from Craig Johnson, Scott Glime, Darrell Tangen and Kathy Eischens.
Maybe we’ll see you on our next PHOTONS outing.