Saturday, September 15, 2012

Reno Balloon Race

The Great Reno Balloon Race

Up, up and away  --  Don’t miss the Video of the event!

In its 31st year the Great Reno Balloon Race has drawn about a hundred of balloonists and thousands of spectators to this colorful event.  Most of you have probably seen a single balloon floating calmly in the air maybe over Napa’s wine country but seeing the mass ascension of a hundred balloons and seeing them ‘dancing’ in the wind against the deep blue sky is an unforgettable sight.

I have visited Reno and photographed the Balloon Race now for several years and won’t get tired of it.  Last weekend 6 photographers joined me in Reno to experience this unique photo opportunity.  We stayed comfortably in spacious condos with all amenities to be well rested for the early morning activities – and early means really early before dawn.  We left for the Rancho San Rafael just outside Reno shortly after 4am to be there for the glow show and see 7 special night-flying balloons – the dawn patrol - ascend at the start of dawn.  During the glow show and the ‘dawn patrol’ the balloonists choreograph their burners that heat up the air in the balloons to make them ascend with the music - each balloon representing another instrument.  Against the dark sky it is quite a sight to see.

Glow Show

The Wells Fargo StageCoach Balloon

The Smiley Balloon

Dawn Patrol

As dawn lightens the sky, the wind carries the Dawn Patrol over the horizon.

As the sun rises, the balloonists prepare for the mass ascension of ~100 balloons and it is fascinating to observe the balloonists and their crew as they prepare for rising in the air.  The balloons are laid out on the ground, first filled with cold air using big fans. 

Once inflated, the burners throwing big flames are turned on heating up the air and the balloon rights itself.

All the while, people walk between the balloons, experience the heat from the burners while standing close and looking into the balloon.  Overhead, a flock of geese makes a fly-over curious what’s going on down there.

The Shark Balloon over towers all.

If you have never been to a balloon festival, don't miss the opportunity to come to Reno with me
on September 6-9, 2013!   Save the Date!

Til next time,

For those who are interested, the video was composed of over 2500 images taken over 3 days of the festival.


For all Animal lovers and conservationists:

Please see for yourself how the kindness of a small group of people can make a difference!  
Please join me in October for a great visit at a wild mustang sanctuary right here in California.  
The proceeds will directly benefit the horses at RTF.

     Copyrigth M. Raeder-Photography

An unforgettable afternoon Equine Fine Arts Photographer Kimerlee Curyl and Wildlife Photographer Meggi Raeder

Date:  October 19-21, 2012 [save the date]

For all details click here.