I’m reprising this photo of a balloon lifting off at dawn because The Washingtonian Magazine just published it on the cover of their August 2010 issue. (!)
I was very flattered when the editor contacted me last month, asking for downloads so they could consider some images for an upcoming issue. Since my lovely wife and cheering section Nancy has been a sometime subscriber and regular reader for the entire time I have known her, of course I was happy to help. I was hoping for a publication and photo credit. Washingtonian had published another photo just last month, so it seemed a reasonable hope. The idea of a cover never actually occurred to me — as most regular readers of the magazine can attest, Washingtonian’s cover almost always seems to be a posed shot featuring people. (I read the magazine sometimes, but a greater authority on the subject — Nancy — swears this is the case.) So imagine my surprise when the photo editor asked me to call him “about one of your shots.” All our previous communications had been by email, so I wondered if there was a problem.
Once we made contact, Mr. Hicks asked nonchalantly if it would be ok if they use this image for the cover. I think I didn’t so much say “yes,” as blurt it. Not at all the blase, mercenary professional image I’d prefer to project for The Washingtonian Magazine. He was kind: “Congratulations.” I could hear his smile. Maybe “smooth” will come in time.
This is one of my personal favorite photos. It was taken at the Millwood, Virginia, Hot Air Balloon and Wine Festival at dawn, with the sun backlighting the balloon and the mist in the low-lying fields. I originally posted and blogged about it back in August 2009 in an entry entitled “Dawn Lift.”
(Nikon D200, ISO 500, Nikkor zoom at 35mm, F/5.6, 1/750 sec.)