Every summer in Jamesville, NY there is a weekend-long event called Balloon Fest. There is a bunch of live music, rides, fried foods, and- the big draw- hot air balloons.
I got to Balloon Fest at 7 am on Saturday morning. It was rainy and windy. Too rainy and windy for hot air balloons, it seems. I hung around for a few hours- long enough to see the balloon pilots and crews drive off with their balloon toting trailers even though the sun was coming out and the wind was dying down. So, I left. Later that evening, I saw some posts on Instagram showing a number of balloons flying against a cotton candy sunset. Sunday morning the wind was up again so I waited until the evening to try again. Only to arrive shortly before a thunderstorm. I was not to see a single hot air balloon.
Without the hot air balloons, what is Balloon Fest? It’s just a small carnival. And I love carnivals. Sorta. They are colorful, a little sad, a little sketchy, always weird, and great to photograph. At 7 am and/or during thunderstorms they also tend to be pretty empty. That adds another nice, strange layer of atmosphere to a carnival.
I missed out on hot air balloons but I am very pleased with the shots I could get. I could see carnival photos becoming a very long series I would make.