The Northwest Art & Air Festival, annually held in Albany, OR, features three mornings of hot air balloons – and for $200 – you can find yourself floating above the Willamette Valley.
For those who’d prefer to keep their feet on the ground – or find the price tag a bit high – the next best thing is to mill around the 40+ balloons while they prepare for flight. Over the course of an hour or so, 40+ balloons unpack, inflate, and launch.
For me – it was an opportunity to go shoot something new. And so for three mornings – I rolled out of bed at 5AM – and arrived at Timber Linn Park by 6AM for the pilots meeting.
On Saturday only, Arky, a rendition of Noah’s ark, was on hand. Arky is a 110’ long, 85’ tall, and 55’ wide hot air balloon operated by HIS SKY Ministries – located in Grants Pass, Oregon. It’s a very large balloon – and the kids love it.
More images can be found here.
A few of the shots from top to bottom: (1) pilot bleeds the burner lines (2) inflating balloons prepare for launch (3) Arky takes flight (4) folks milling around Timber Linn Park (5) heating air inside the envelop (6) just before launch (7) 6AM pilots meeting.