Colorado away!

Liftoff of a Colorado-themed hot air balloon at the closing session of the (rain plagued) 50th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Colorado away!

We haven’t had a chance to attend the Fiesta for years, but this year’s event lined up perfectly with some family travel we had on the calendar. We showed up in town the Friday night at the end of the Fiesta, just in time for the Saturday morning and evening main events to be cancelled due to bad weather (an unusually wet October for New Mexico meant many events were cancelled through the week).

Luckily for spectators and the remaining balloonists, the weather improved overnight, so the Sunday morning mass ascension could still take place. A lot of pilots had given up before that point, so it was a relatively “thin” mass ascension, but we were all happy to see a respectable number of balloons airborne.

OM Digital OM-1, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 II lens
34mm, f/13, 1/80 sec, ISO 200

Leaving Albuquerque

On a recent trip to Albuquerque to take care of some family business, I managed to get aboard a very well-timed flight home on a “puddle-jumper” turboprop aircraft.

Leaving Albuquerque

As we headed north from the airport, the sun was just setting, so I got a nice mix of lighting colors.  And, of course, flying in a small aircraft means everybody gets a window seat.

For locals and the curious, the Osuna interchange with I-25 is about at the image’s center (I-25 runs from the bottom right corner toward left center).

Dolls Theater

A little alcove off the “Big Room” at Carlsbad Caverns, the “Dolls Theater” does not lack in detail or depth.  Should you visit, make sure to take a (small) tripod and cable release — this image was taken at f/18 with a 3.2 second exposure / ISO 400:

Dolls Theater

The King’s Palace

A good demonstration of the color of light, courtesy of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico:

The King's Palace

This is one of the “marquis” attractions at Carlsbad Caverns, but really doesn’t look this colorful in person (Journey to the Center of the Earth not withstanding).  But it’s lit by spotlights of slightly different color temperature — so if you grab a picture on your visit, and attempt to pick some feature for your white balance, you’ll wind up with this slightly gaudy view in your photo.

Fajada Butte — captured!

Coming to you from Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, it’s Fajada Butte:

Fajada Butte, captured!

Fajada Butte is the site of an ancient “Sun Dagger” solar clock that marks the occurrence of the solstices and equinoxes. It’s too delicate for visitors to see in person any more (it was damaged by tourism-induced erosion, and closed to the public in 1989), but still inspiring to look at from a distance.

Seen some hard times

We ran across this guy at Taos Pueblo in New Mexico — apparently nobody actually keeps dogs as family pets, so a half dozen or so dogs just wander around as strays / community pets. Judging by his left eye, this one got in a scuffle recently.

Seen some hard times...

It took me some tinkering in Aperture before I got happy with this shot — it just looks better to me as a pseudo-antique than as a full color image.