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Winter balloon

Looking out over the Yampa River valley from Storm Peak, at the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort, I spotted this colorful hot air balloon floating with the thin ...
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Looking out over the Yampa River valley from Storm Peak, at the top of the Steamboat Ski Resort, I spotted this colorful hot air balloon floating with the thin clouds below us.
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Winner in Full of Hot Air Photo Challenge
Peer Award
Legammare AnnHopta jorgealbertopealozapealoza Igor_pol ahuffaker skippy4280 thatblackandwhitelabby +13
Absolute Masterpiece
Marmot56 Athena_B countryside wendyroske_9600 darylchamlee
Superb Composition
Rmay1 colehouse danielmichaels
Top Choice
AlexF simonparry
All Star
brendaglen PhilC
Superior Skill
Magnificent Capture

Top Ranks

High Peaks Photo ContestTop 30 rank
High Peaks Photo ContestTop 30 rank week 3
Far Far Away Photo ContestTop 30 rank


3 Comments | Report
darylchamlee November 03, 2016
Awesome Shot!!
ResQgeek PRO+
ResQgeek November 03, 2016
Thank you. It is for moments like this one that I am willing to sometimes carry my DSLR up the mountain when I ski.
grantbooth_0020 Platinum
grantbooth_0020 December 02, 2022
Days are like beers, they are all good, just that some are better than others
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken at the top of Storm Peak at the Steamboat Ski Resort, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
It was our first lift ride to the top of the mountain, so it was still early, probably about 9:00.
With the clouds below us, it was a bright, sunny morning, with the sun at my back.
I had my Pentax *istDS DSLR camera, with a Pentax 55-200mm zoom lens along for the day, hoping to get some action shots of my daughters skiing.
After getting off the lift, we stopped to make sure everyone had their clothing and equipment properly adjusted before be began our descent. I happened to glance out at the valley and saw the balloon drifting above the low, thin clouds below us. It occurred to me that I could use the trees in the foreground to frame the balloon and valley, so I pulled out my camera and grabbed a shot.
Because of the distances, I found that the balloon almost disappeared in the original shot, so I cropped it so that the balloon was a bit more prominent in the final image.
In my camera bag
People are often surprised to see that I carry a DSLR while I'm skiing. I have a chest harness that I wear under my ski coat that locks the camera in place while I'm skiing, but provides me with convenient access when I'm ready to shoot. Since my primary goal on a ski day is to capture action photos, I usually mount a longer lens on the camera, so I can zoom in on the particular skier I'm trying to capture.
This shot was a bit of serendipity, so my best advice is to pay attention to your surroundings. You never know when something unanticipated might capture your interest, and you need to be ready to improvise to capture these moments when they occur, even if you didn't plan for that particular situation. Take the shot, even if you aren't sure how it will turn out. Sometimes luck can be a photographer's best friend.

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