Oct 11, 2008

Fired Up Too Chase Crewing

A week of chase crew activity at the 2008 Kodak International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque garnered some really neat action shots.  From before dawn till after dark, for the chase crew, highlight events are characterized by competitions and glowdeos.  In between, you get to photograph and take part in other exciting fiesta activities.

For me, one afternoon's Glowdeo became quite a highlight...

Just clouds setting over the Sandia's marked a wonderful evening.  The balloon was laid out, the fan is working hard, and soon, Fired Up Too will begin to stand proud.

2008 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Laying Down
These Connecticut gals are volunteers helping us put up the balloon.  One of them was an amateur photographer who really liked David's G3 iPhone display of remarkable nature posters.

2008 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Glowdeo fan
With faint changes of sunset reflecting off the clouds, the crew has stabilized #254 as onlookers watch.

2008 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Glowdeo Up
As you can see, Fired Up Too is standing; some balloons have yet to be inflated for balloon glow.

2008 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Glowdeo Lit
But we're clearly not all here just for balloon glow!  Our pilot, Michael Marx and his wife Becky of Dallas, have been avidly competing for several years.  He either tosses a flag at a target or catches a ring from pole (they had a Honda Pilot as a prize in one competition).  In either case, it's no mean task; between all the balloons and often conflicting winds, it can be quite a potentially dangerous chore.

2008 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Competition
Our balloon competition image was shot as Michael and Becky came in on the last calm morning before a weekend storm arrived.

As for me, this is my first chase group experience.  With early morning and late evening hours, I was allowed to come on the field for each event, passing through the Northgate as chase crew.  Besides walking nearly 40 miles in 10 days, I'd lifted and prodded balloons, watched events, and just generally wore myself out...

I'd like to thank Michael Marx, Becky Marx, David Lyons, Leo Ruiz, Roxy Ruiz, Alan Baldridge, and Wanda Baldridge for their fine Texas companionship (oops, one of them is from Tennessee) during this spectacular photographic event!

David and I will be shootin’ in the Four Corners for the next few weeks…

BTW, all images in this particular blog used the DNG conversion with presets from the last blog.  They were simply saved to JPEG files for rapid blog presentation. 

No comments: