I attended the QuickChek Festival of Ballooning pre-festival Media Launch event yesterday with a bunch of photographers from the Somerset County Meetup. I arrived around 6:30 AM but due to work commitments, I was only able to shoot for about 45 minutes. I have attended a few of these in the past. I was unprepared for this as my new camera has not yet arrived. I shot the event with a borrowed camera and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM IS-LM lens. It was a bit too "zoomy" for this event but ... I made it work.

What sort of photographer shows up at a balloon festival with a 70-200mm lens?

Thirteen images stitched in Adobe Photoshop using the panorama feature.

Bhavna and I are planning a fall balloon adventure over the Letchworth State Park in upstate New York. We've never done this before, but the idea of being up in the air and being swept wherever the wind may take us, seems exciting.

QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 102 mmf/8.0 ISO 160—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 400—CC BY-NC-SA
Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 88 mmf/8.0 ISO 160—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 135 mmf/2.8 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 200 mmf/8.0 ISO 2000—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 70 mmf/4.0 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 200 mmf/4.0 ISO 200—CC BY-NC-SA
Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 70 mmf/4.0 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 250—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 185 mmf/8.0 ISO 320—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 125—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 200 mmf/8.0 ISO 125—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 200 mmf/8.0 ISO 200—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 200 mmf/8.0 ISO 125—CC BY-NC-SA
QuickChek Festival of Ballooning Media Launch —Canon EOS 5D Mark III +EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 70 mmf/8.0 ISO 100—CC BY-NC-SA

When Scott Wyden posted a Google invite event for a press event at the 32nd annual New Jersey Festival of Ballooning I said yes immediately.

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Although I had to be at my client's office at 8AM, I decided that I could arrive just before 6:30AM, snap some photos, and be back on the road by 7AM.

But as the date approached, I realized that attending would mean getting up at 5AM. This is 1 hour earlier than I normally get up.  It also meant I wouldn’t have any time to eat a proper breakfast or do my normal coffee ritual.  I almost backed out.  I am glad I did not.

I got some great photos.

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