Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Balloon Frenzy

Hello there ;)

This is a long overdue post just didn't have time to post it up.

I spent a few months back chasing balloons, visiting people, working and attending weddings. Let’s leave the rest and talk about the hot air balloons.

Last year for the first time ever, the Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon Festival was organised which made me super happy coz I’ve always loved hot air balloons. I think it has something to do with fire. Anyway I told myself last year, if they had it again I would go more than once. That’s what I did this year.

On Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed at ungodly hour. No matter how much I’m looking forward to something, trust me, I will always hate waking up early! ;p

When I got there, I realised the star attraction Darth Vader was already landing on the other side of the river. Darth definitely looked nice but erm he was like a black blob in the sky. The skies were also adamant at looking as dull as possible, so I decided not to shoot darth and went looking for the more colourful ones.

I wanted to see where the balloons landed, so with one eye on the skies and another on the amazing roads of Putrajaya, I looked on ways to get as close as possible to the balloons. En route I saw a bunch of paragliders getting ready to lift off and stopped to get some shots ;p

Buzzing off

Anyway sometime later I turned into an area that seemed to be a haven for the balloons. Only problem they were all in private guarded residential areas, I even found one balloon stuck in between the buildings of a school.

Just a distance away I saw 2 balloons landing on a strip of empty land and another flying just right above my head. So I shot that guy with the smiley beady eyes balloon and followed it on foot across the road. Here’s how he landed ;p what fun ;p

I ran back to the other spot to check out the packing process. It’s pretty complicated. First they placed the basket with the balloon still in it on the truck, then the slowly released the air and folded the balloon. This took a lot of time and energy.

Satisfied with my find and photos, I headed back home only to find another balloon stuck between a few apartments. I imagine the residents had a interesting conversation.


Son: Mom there’s something yellow blocking over window.
Mom: Don’t be silly …. Oh dear what is that????

Now after that I realised I was in an unfamiliar part of Putrajaya and I was running low on petrol. I live 10 mins away from the land of no petrol stations, so I thought I wouldn’t need to fill up my tank.

Spot the face

(see if you can spot the face ;p)
Little did I know that the wonderful signboards will lead me on a wild goose chase. Instead of heading back to the centre of town, I followed the signboards that showed the supposed way back home.

Note to self: never ever follow signboards in Putrajaya.

Seriously they were ridiculous; the worse one was these 2 signboards next to each other that I spotted from a distance. The first one said KL left Kajang right while the second said KL right Kajang left. Thank god there were no cars behind me coz I ended up slowing down to figure out my way. Only upon close inspection did I realise one was for the motorcycle lane!!!

A moment

So I drove and drove and drove through weird parts and winding roads that I never knew existed. Finally I found what seemed like a highway with a little Petronas station below it. Surprisingly the station was crowded as they were a crowd of people taking part in a car treasure hunt. I think the station was one of their stops.

I finally ended up home after circling for half an hour.


I had wanted to check out one of the evening sessions but I was hesistant coz of the bigger crowds that turn up in the evening but unexpected events made me decided not to since the whole day became a bit too busy there after. I ended up driving to cheras to visit an uncle in the hospital, and then had a late lunch (one of the few places I have fried rice) near my old working place before heading to ampang for some work and back home in the later part of the evening.


Anyway the next morning, I got up super early again to head to the grounds of Putrajaya to shoot the balloons lifting off. Sadly they only opened the gates after a few of the balloons had flown away for reasons none of us could comprehend. Of course once the gates were finally opened the overzealous photogs starting pushing people. I mean you’ve waited for so long, can’t you wait for a few seconds, had to actually sound a few of them before they relented and stopped pushing.

The skies were still a dull grey, so I decided to stick to close ups of the balloon and its wild colours and chuck of the skies. This time I did not get zinged by the fire like last year ;p but I did get some variety of shots, since I now know what to work with.

I do wish we had more time though I do believe this may have something to do with someone controlling how much time other photographers get to shoot. 

The rest of the photos will be posted on my photography site soon.

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ashok said...

amazing style u've got...great fotography

sabrina said...

You know i didn't know bout this till the very last minute....would have loved to have seen the darth vader one!

But would prob have been turned off by th crowd friend went ad said it was just mad!

Visithra said...

ashok : thanks ;)

saby : oohhh will let u know next time - though visitors can only watch but for photogs u can get close like burning eyelashes close ;p hehe

darth wasnt too impressive as he was ergonomically challenged n couldnt fly too high just like the pink pants ;p

yeah crowds are crazy - eventhough photogs get to go in - its a long wait n sometimes ppl push