InWonderACS3x5When artists talk about the different techniques involved in our craft, we sometimes forget that all of the technique in the world cannot replace the creative spark that guides our work. After all, my fondest memories of a particular photograph come not from the techniques I used to capture the shot, but from the beauty that I was able to record with my camera at that particular moment. Consequently I would like to share one of those moments of beauty today and tell you the story of how it came to be.

In 2011, my husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to go on our first vacation together since we have been married. To celebrate our anniversary, we decided to take a road trip from Texas to Colorado to see the sights. We had always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon and during our time in Colorado Springs, we finally had our chance. We bought our tickets well in advance and readied ourselves to wake up at 5 a.m. on the morning of the flight. Instead of waking up at 5 a.m., however, I woke up at 4 o’clock with an upset stomach. By the time my husband was awake, I was thoroughly miserable.

I was far too stubborn to stay in the hotel room and miss the possible fulfillment of a childhood dream, so my husband drove to the launch site outside of Larkspur while I rode in the passenger seat clutching a trashcan to my chest just in case. I stayed near the site’s port-a-potties for most of the morning, but finally felt well enough to fly the blue skies. It took a while for the wind to die down enough to make a hot air balloon ride safe, but once the winds and my stomach finally calmed, the journey skyward was spectacular. There were two huge balloons toting 12 passengers apiece. While Matt and I traveled in one, I was able to photograph the other.

I was proud of all my shots that day, but the photo that I call “In Wonder” remains one of my absolute favorites. I captured this particular photograph while our hot air balloon was traveling up the slope of the hill that is visible in the photo. The winds shifted at just the right moment to carry the other balloon into my camera’s field of vision. I waited until the balloon and the hill aligned just across the horizon from each other at more-or-less Rule of Thirds ratios and snapped the photo.

All too soon, we had to land the balloons and end our floating adventure, but the memories and photos of flying beneath a colorful envelope filled with hot air still bring a smile to my lips.

Until we meet again, I wish all of you brilliant flashes of perspective!

[ O*] Alycia