Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Timelapse



I had the opportunity to cover the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta with Steve Heiner and Lindsay Silverman of Nikon, and a group of photo luminaries including Rob Galbraith, George Schaub, Scott Bourne, and Matt Kloskowski, among others.

Nikon was showcasing the nine lenses and two cameras they introduced this year to these eminent members of the photo press, and since I had shot several of the brochures with the new optics, I got an invite to hang with these photo experts.

Needless to say, we had a great time, got some wonderful images, and geeked out in a major way. It was a treat for me to catch up with old friends, make some new ones, and refreshing, for once, to be the least technically-hip guy in the room!

Wow, do these guys know their stuff!  What an education to hang out with them.

I shot all video (as I say to my wife, Peggy, aka SWMBO, I’m in my cocoon phase. I may be ugly now, but I hope to emerge as a beautiful video butterfly in the near future). I just hope the transformation happens before the turn of the next century.

I hope to have a nice little movie edit to share with you soon, but I’m on an old fashioned corporate shoot this week, and it’ll be a while until I can wrestle my D300s and P7000 clips into a presentable movie. 

Thanks to this trip, I’ve already had to earmark the proceeds from this week’s shoot for some of the outstanding optics I sampled last week, including the 35 mm f/1.4, the 24-120mm f/4, the beloved 24mm f/1.4, and the 28-300mm.

Of course, this is all subject to the approval of SWMBO, who rules the financial roost around here, thank goodness. Otherwise, I’d probably be living in a tent surrounded by every lens Nikon has ever made…and that’s about 400 at last count!


This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Hey Bob,

    That balloon event looks simply stunning. I’ll have to make it out there next year!

    Also, I’m curious why you haven’t discussed the D7000 much on your blog. As a D90/DX shooter for your travels, I’m surprised you’re not more excited by its unveiling. Will you do a write up with some of your impressions soon?


  2. Nick: I haven’t discussed it because I really haven’t had the opportunity to use one yet.They had only two prototypes at the Balloon Event, and non-Nikon employees weren’t cleared to use them as they are just prototypes.

    It is true that I hosted the instructional video that will be available from Nikon, but I was only the host. Three other photographers actually got to shoot it. I did get to handle one in between takes, and it was love at first sight.

    So don’t get the idea that I’m not excited. I will tell you that, just from the handling and the specs, that I have pre-ordered two bodies and a bunch of extra batteries (it’s a new battery configuration). I don’t buy equipment willy nilly, so this is a big move for me.

    This is a dream machine for any DX devotee. I just have a rule about not reviewing gear before I’ve actually used it. Call me old fashioned, but I think it’s an important rule:-)!

  3. Great video! This is a perfect timelapse subject.

    1. Thanks Kara. It was possible because we had a secure place to leave an unattended camera on a tripod for three hours. I hate it when my camera gets stolen in the middle of a timelapse! Bob

      1. Yeah, that makes editing the images together pretty tough!

  4. Bob, just because I’ve never seen it, doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done a million times, but it would have been nice to know the actual timespan for this clip. Does including some sort of timepiece in a corner of the shot screw it up in some way?

    1. Steve: I’m afraid you’re asking too much of me, Quicktime, and iMovie! It was shot over the course of a couple of hours, and I think it’s 15 FPS….that’s as close to a little clock as I’m able to get. Remember my words int the post? I’m in my ugly cocoon video phase! cheers, Bob

  5. Nice choice of music. It really works well with the timelapse sequence. Was this shot on the P7000? I saw one at a camera store last weekend. Very interesting, although shooting with an LCD might take some getting used to. Next to SWMBO is the 15 year old daughter on a shopping mission. “Can we go dad?” So much for spending time with the P7000.

    Yes, shooting video does involve a learning curve. But one thing I found was that coming at it from a photo background certainly helps. I migrated to video many years ago, now shooting with a Sony HVR-Z5U. Maybe time to upgrade from my D70 to the D7000, more for stills than video. Oh, did I mention my daughter’s orthodontic habit?


  6. Gerry: Yup, it’s time for an upgrade. Add a two zeros to your D70, and you’ll have a capable camera that will do both stills and video….and you might have some left over for braces! Bob

  7. Great time lapse!

    1. Thanks Diane: They’re fun to do, as long as your camera spot is secure enough to leave unattended for a few hours! Bob

  8. Really nice Bob.

    I like doing time lapses, for some reason they usually get a lot of oohs and aahs that a traditional video of the same subject wouldn’t. I ended up keeping my G9 specifically because it has a time lapse video mode (something Canon dropped from subsequent G series cameras). It’s not perfect, but it’s screamin’ easy.


    1. Jack: Yup, they’re so easy to do, and get such good reactions, that they just may be the video world’s answer to HDR! Of course, there will probably be a backlash soon, and nobody will want to see them!

      I’ll have the other video posted soon….with the timelapse embedded in the middle for “oohs” and “aahs”!

      cheers, Bob

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