Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus (Take 2)

In September, our community hosts the annual Southwest Iowa Professional Hot Air Balloon Festival. Weather conditions permitting, balloonists launch at least four times to test their piloting skills. A parade, flea market, YMCA 5K Balloon Chase, night glow and other fun activities surround the event.

Last year, I heard the nearby “whoosh” of the burners filling a balloon envelope with hot air. To my surprise, the competition target to which pilots toss weighted bags from their baskets was placed just a few blocks from my home. That meant that all 50-plus balloons would be close and low! I hurried to find my post and reveled in the multi-colored, sky parade floating effortlessly through my neighborhood.

I took this series of shots of one balloonist’s pass of the target, intentionally getting some shallow and greater depth of field focus shots (the first is my favorite). Here are the results:

Out of focus balloon

Balloon is piloted just above tree level as it approaches target to drop weighted marker.


Balloon ascends from the target.


Street signs are of no value to balloonists.


“Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon”

Thanks to Southern Sea Muse’s Photo Challenge post that jogged my memory of these pictures! Here are a few more close and overhead shots:

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Hot Air Balloon Days is September 20 – 22, 2013, Creston, Iowa, USA.

5 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus (Take 2)

    • Thanks, David. I appreciate you stopping by. Spent a summer in Washington when I was a kid and traveled all around the northwest and up into BC that summer. Have not been back since but hope to in the near future. Enjoyed reconnecting with the region through your blog…beautiful work!


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