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Imagine this: It’s 5 a.m. and you’re standing in a dark field surrounded by the shadows and silhouettes of thousands of fellow spectators. Hundreds of hot air balloon trucks, pilots, and crews line the field, quietly watching and waiting. Dawn is rapidly approaching, and the only sound is the zoom of the weather planes circling the field overhead determining if conditions will be suitable for balloons to take to the skies. Suddenly, without any word, balloonists one by one unroll their balloons, and as rhythmic as a dance, bursts of flames begin to appear in the darkness as the pilots prepare for launch. The seemingly choreographed movements of more than 600 balloons commences. As the first wave of balloons rise up into the first light of day, I watch our group of photographers scatter in different directions, eager to get the best shots of this jaw-dropping event. Christina Merchant, here.  Last month, I joined professional photographer Efrain Padro and eight of your fellow readers to photograph the famous  Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM. On this particular day  we woke up before the sun to see more than 600 balloons rise up into the air, in what is known to Balloon Fiesta enthusiasts as the “mass ascension”. As travel photographers, we faced the task of photographing the constant changing and moving balloons, which proved to be quite challenging.  So we focused on the details. Take a look: Lynda Witty Pamela Boyd Christina Merchant Becky Deal Not only are detail shots good to take when you’re not sure where to start, but they can also be very saleable.  Take a look at this shot that Efrain took while strolling through the Indian Market in his hometown of Santa Fe. This simple photo has been published five different times in local travel publications such as New Mexico Journey Magazine, the Albuquerque Vacation Guide, and the Santa Fe Visitor’s Guide. The image has generated approximately $600-$700 in sales, and Efrain believes it will generate even more in the future (Acoma Pueblo artisans have been using the same designs for hundreds of years, so the image will not get stale). So next time you’re out shooting and not sure where to start, focus on the detail shots. Stay tuned for another on-the-ground report, coming to your inbox tomorrow!  And in the meantime, sign up to receive details about our next big photo event, here. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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