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GALLERY: Citrus Classic Hot Air Balloon Festival

August 3, 2011

Despite having an incredibly busy day on Saturday, I opted to get up in the pre-dawn hours on Sunday morning to drive about 30 miles to a Hot Air Balloon festival in Santa Paula.  I have always loved Hot Air Balloons… they’re incredibly beautiful to look at, and so old-worldly in others.  I was privileged enough in my youth to ride in them from time to time and once remember crash landing in a swarm of cacti in the Arizona desert.  Despite that… I still love them.

As the sun crested the small hills to the east of the launching ground, the weather was tenuous, at best.  They let the pilots decide on their own if they would fly, which most of them did.  Unfortunately, at the first sign of rain drops, they pulled everyone down.  This made for some exciting moments as 20 balloons landed within about eight minutes of each other.

Some selects from the day are below (make sure to hit the jump for more) – but the full collection is HERE.

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Hit The Jump for more…

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Holding the Balloon during inflation…

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I don’t do much HDR… but this seemed like a good excuse to mess around with it.

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That’s a lot of fire around a lot of flammable fabric.  Amazing.

If you want more… see the FULL GALLERY HERE

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One comment

  1. Wow.. cool photographs… I think I might be too much of a wimp to do that 🙂 But it looks like it was quite the breathtaking sight!



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