Last night it was the first time that we managed to be at the Great Galena Balloon Race over in Galena, Illinois. We arrived in time for the famous night glow of the balloons. Photographing balloons at night was a first for me and it was an enjoyable learning experience and some “candy for the eyes”. Having a tripod is a must for a halfway decent photo, unless you like to use blur as an artistic mean of expression, which IMHO is a valid way to go. As with many events where people gather by the hundreds, if not thousands, keeping the picture free of clutter (other people, golf carts, picknick coolers, etc.) is difficult, but something you need to have an eye on.

I went out with the Nikkor 24-120 mm, f/4 attached to the D750 and this was not a bad choice. The glowing of all balloons at the same time is announced over loud speakers but you only have a few seconds to make your shots. The zoom lens allows for quick changes.

Back home and in front of my computer I try to analyze where the mistakes were made and what really worked to tell the story about this event. I enjoyed this challenge very much and hope to have another chance to try it again soon.

On our way back to the car we saw this constellation of “heavenly” bodies above the road and trees. The moon was behind a thin layer of clouds while Jupiter and Venus were clearly visible despite the light pollution from nearby cities.