Hot-air Balloons in Hudson, MA

It was Fri Aug 19th, World Photography Day (the day on which the patent for the daguerreotype, an early form of analog photography was released to the public - August 19, 1839, and starting in 2010 the day began serving as a celebration for all photography). So when the opportunity came to attend the Media Day for the Hudson Balloon Festival, I jumped at it even though it meant waking up at 4am. Together with a couple of photographer friends, we drove over to the field where the balloons would fly at dawn from, and reached there at 5am, well before sunrise.

That morning, sunrise and moonset were about an hour of each other, sunrise at 5:55AM and moonset, that too with an almost full moon, at 7:12AM. Hot-air balloons, sunrise, moonset - great photo opportunities overall.

This was the first hot-air balloon event I had ever been to. I was offered the opportunity to go on one of the balloons, but the recent fatal accident in Dallas crossed my mind. And since I had a client photo shoot that evening, and didn't want to risk any injury, I decided to pass. Yes, I know these rides are pretty safe, and it was probably foolish of me to decline and give up on the amazing photo opportunities I might have gotten had I gone on the ride. Oh well, another time.

It was a great morning overall and I had a lot of fun talking to the pilots and crew, and making some photographs.

 

 A flock of geese fly across the early morning skies as the moon continues it's descent behind the trees

A flock of geese fly across the early morning skies as the moon continues it's descent behind the trees

 The first balloon ascends as the early rays of the morning sun kiss the sides

The first balloon ascends as the early rays of the morning sun kiss the sides

 As the balloon is inflated, a crew member peers in through the vents near the crown

As the balloon is inflated, a crew member peers in through the vents near the crown

 The view through one of the vents as the hot air fills up inside

The view through one of the vents as the hot air fills up inside

 A crew member holds on to the lines as the balloon is inflated

A crew member holds on to the lines as the balloon is inflated

 This pilot's shirt leaves no doubt as to which balloon is his

This pilot's shirt leaves no doubt as to which balloon is his

 Balloons in different stages of being inflated

Balloons in different stages of being inflated

 Another balloon sails away

Another balloon sails away

 A balloon inflated with cold air is ready to have the burner turned on

A balloon inflated with cold air is ready to have the burner turned on

 The pilot turns on the burner to heat up the air in the envelope

The pilot turns on the burner to heat up the air in the envelope

 Pilot makes final checks to the lines before take off

Pilot makes final checks to the lines before take off

 Time to take off and go with the other balloon

Time to take off and go with the other balloon

 Balloons sail away as a dramatic sunrise fills the skies

Balloons sail away as a dramatic sunrise fills the skies

 View through the vents near the crown of another balloon as it is being inflated

View through the vents near the crown of another balloon as it is being inflated

 Pilots and crew check on the crown lines as the balloons get inflated

Pilots and crew check on the crown lines as the balloons get inflated

 Getting ready for take-off

Getting ready for take-off

 And off they go

And off they go

 And up and away

And up and away

 And away ...

And away ...

 The retrieve crew will head out and wait for the radio from the pilot to get to where the balloon will land

The retrieve crew will head out and wait for the radio from the pilot to get to where the balloon will land