The event offered a colorful assortment of subjects to shoot

Most of the people that know me for any amount of time probably come to learn that I’m not much of a morning person. Because of this I cringed a bit when I read the schedule for the latest Photowalking Utah event. The outing was an early morning session photographing hot air balloons at the America’s Freedom Festival in Provo on the Fourth of July. The balloons began inflating at 6:00 a.m. which necessitated a 5:00 a.m. wake-up call to make it to the field in time.

July 4th Photowalkers
As many of the photowalkers as we could get to hold still for a group shot

A total of about 20 photographers joined in on the ‘walk. Since the starting time was so early, we didn’t have one set location to meet. Instead, we were able to coordinate as the event took place to join together. Afterward, the majority of the group headed off to breakfast together.

Hot Times
The heat of the inflation

The partial cloud cover eliminated the chance for any “balloon against blue sky” shots, but it kept the temperatures in the manageable mid-eighties range.

Fill 'er Up!
Inside the envelope of a balloon being inflated

One of the pilots tapped me on my shoulder and asked “want to get a cool picture?”. I obviously answered yes. With that, he took me inside the envelope of his balloon as his crew inflated it. It was kind of surreal being inside the massive craft as it grew over my head.

Photowalking Utah - Balloon Launch 1
An “over-the-head” no look shot

Photowalking Utah - Balloon Launch 2
Nikon / Canon / Nikon

I must admit that I’m glad I got up before light to attend this event. I took as many pictures before 8:00 a.m. as I usually do on a full day of shooting. It’s always great to hang out with my photowalking friends and this outing was no different.

The next Photowalking Utah event is still being planned. Keep an eye on the announcement section of the group’s Flickr page at