This morning my body naturally woke up at 3:48 a.m. and a good thing. I was supposed to be somewhere at 4:30 a.m. besides, I don’t like the sound of my alarm. I would much rather wake up naturally. I went out to my car and met with my crew. We went to the designated park and waited in the 75 degree morning air (welcome to Alabama Summer) until it was ready. I watched as three of my friends climbed into a tiny basket tied to the bottom of a massive piece of canvas and lifted off into the sky for a hot air Balloon ride.
At least I thought I watched. Half of the time I wasn’t watching the people and sharing in their excitement. Seeing as my camera was strapped to my wrist I was trying my best to capture the moment in a photograph, instead of capturing the moment in my mind. As they all climbed inside the basket the giant propane burner burst to life with a massive thrust of flame. The roar of the burner blocked out all other sounds as the Balloon slowly lifted off the ground.
I actually didn’t see the lift off because I was running back to a better location to get a better shot of the take off. I missed it. True I was only a few seconds late, but I had missed it. Not the photograph, the moment. The initial nervous smiles which spread across several faces, the tight grip on the edge of the basket, and the widening of the eyes as they were taken away into the sky by a gentle breeze. These were what I missed. I wanted so badly to get a good shot of the excitement of that moment that I feel I missed the real thing. My illusion created with the photograph could never capture the actual moment. Still I take solace in knowing my photographs can portray what it was like for those of you who were not there. After all, who wants to get up and go for a ride in a balloon at 5 in the morning? I can tell you I sure want to now! Regardless of missing the moment at the present time, these photographs will forever remind me of what it did feel like this morning. (All photographs were taken with my Point and Shoot camera. A Canon PowerShot SX 120 IS.)