Balloon Fiesta 2013 Los Cardales

Fernet Branca ruined it for me. They have the most beautiful tv advertisement with golden fields and about 25 colorful hot air balloons floating in the air at different levels. When we arrived at the Balloon Fiesta in Los Cardales and I saw the venue, I had this sinking feeling of probable disappointment. I knew it would be nothing like the Fernet Branca advert, but I was hoping for more than what we got. I can’t really complain about the photos, I was pleased overall with them, however the actual event in my eyes, was a flop. Upon arrival I realized I should have looked at the main web page for the event because there was a special section for photographers marked off, however you had to sign up in advance, which most of us in the class had not done. Soon I noticed classmates on the other side of the partition…mates who did not have tags giving them permission to be in that area. They signaled to me how I could get through without having a press pass. Later they laughed, in America rules at places like this are much more strict, you’d never be able to get around a partition at an even like this…much less by walking through the unguarded break in the partition because of a mud puddle. Apparently in Argentina, that’s not the case.

Anyway, because of this laxity in rule enforcement, there were too many photographers in the photographer area (not complaining because I was one of them)…but it ruined the photos, you struggled to get a shot without a stranger walking obliviously into it. Then, when they finally started to blow up the balloons it took about 30-45 minutes to get them inflated. Once they were inflated they began to lift off the ground…but they were only in the air for maybe 20 minutes total for all of them to eventually get to a field on the other side of a tree line in the distance and then land. Trucks went to go pick them up and bring them back for the night show! During the night show (which we had to wait about 3 hours or more for) the balloons didn’t even lift off the ground and stay attached to a rope, they remained tied to the ground! The fire lighting them up inside was beautiful, but I had been hoping that the balloons would at least spend some time in the air. No such luck. They flickered to the Argentine national anthem (as it was their independence day) and then set off about 10-15 fireworks and called it a night! 6 hours of waiting hanging out for a total of an hour of actual balloon air time. Disappointment! Needless to say,  I will not be a Los Cardales 2014’s Balloon Fiesta.

It was interesting to see the process of getting the balloon ready and such. I enjoyed watching the balloons lift off the ground and float through the air. It was also a nice day to be outside and hang out with photography friends.

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