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I recently spent eight days in New Mexico, photographing in and around Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos. My first morning in Albuequerque coincided with the first Sunday of the Balloon Fiesta. I hadn't planned to shoot hot air balloons, but this was an opportunity not to be missed. I arrived at the grounds two hours before dawn. I wasn't sure what to expect but I brought 2 cameras and 3 lenses. The first balloons began to inflate in complete darkness. When the burners would start, the balloons would suddenly begin to glow. The Balloon Fiesta, also known as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, is the world's largest hot air ballooning event. It is said to be the world's most photographed event. When the propane burners fire up and the balloons are illuminated against the night sky, the effect is dramatic.

The mass ascension of hundreds of balloons is the most dramatic moment during the event. It is a challenge to capture as things happen so quickly. All in all, it was an exciting event and I was glad to have been there for a few hours. Others must feel the same since up to 750,000 people attend over the course of the festival.