The Colorado Springs Labor Day Liftoff

Hey everybody! Hope y'all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend.

So to preface this blog post a little bit, I was hoping to actually have a vlog to accompany this. But, I didn't get any interesting footage, and was conflicted on what to do about the vlog. As a result, this blog post was being delayed. To me, this is a familiar situation. When I was doing my winter road trip, earlier this year, I wasn't thinking that I was getting interesting footage, and so I kept indefinitely delaying my blog posts. Well, I shouldn't let such a situation happen again so here I am at least posting onto the blog.

The Colorado Springs Labor Day Liftoff spanned three days from Saturday to Monday. There were many events that occurred on each day however, I was only interested in the mass ascensions. In hindsight though, I should really check out other things; there was a chainsaw carving competition that I think would've been cool to capture. This year it was reported that there were about 70 balloons which keeps the Labor Day Liftoff as the largest balloon festival in Colorado. Yes, yes, I know that a month later there's a far bigger event, Balloon Fiesta, six hours south in Albuquerque, NW... but, c'mon, let Colorado have its day, eh?

If you can't tell already, despite having an entire page dedicated to them, I love hot air balloons! Seeing these balloons in flight with their vibrant colors really strikes a good tone in me. Also being able to get up close to the massive aircraft puts a sense of awe into me. There isn't anything else quite like hot air balloons to me.

I personally had a more difficult time photographing the event this year. The park where the balloons take off from is right by the velodrome which now has a canopy this year. In turn the new canopy now shades the field from the sun for an extra twenty minutes or so. I can't get the vibrant colors when the balloons are in shade, and that's a problem. I essentially miss the entire first wave of balloons, and I have to scurry around to make up for it during the second wave. It's really a shame though when an interesting balloon is in the first wave though. I did try photographing some of the balloons in the shade but, wow, those images did not turn out well.

Another issue was the cloudless, yet hazy weather. Clouds are always fun to have in pictures with the balloons, and so I was a bit disappointed to see 100% clear skies. Well, that's not a problem, balloons look great in blue skies anyway! That is until I realize that there's an ugly gray haze caused by the fires up north... Okay, how about the nearby lake to use for reflections? Water is being disturbed too much, can't get a reflection. So, you may feel that my compositions are a bit lacking in variety. All-in-all, I think that I got a better haul last year.

Enough with the ranting, please enjoy the pictures!