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Anthony Sheler
(541) 704-7090
Albany, OR 
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Entries in festival (7)


Northwest Art and Air Festival

We checked out the hot air balloon launches on Friday and Saturday. Last year, we could only make it for the Friday lift off and they didn't launch due to wind conditions. This year, Saturday's wind was pretty mild and the balloons had some great hang time over the field. I was able to take some shots as they lifted off in a tight grouping since the wind wasn't whisking them away.



Balloon Disappointment

The Albany Art and Air Festival is a big event every August that kicks off with early morning hot air balloon launches. The festival lasts three days, Friday though Sunday, and this year it happened to be my birthday weekend. We planned a camping trip to the coast so we were unable to attend much of the festivities. However, we got up at the crack of dawn on Friday morning to catch the balloon liftoff before heading out on our camping adventure. Dozens of balloons and support teams, plus hundreds of spectators covered the field at Timber-Linn Park. The first balloon to go up would carry a US flag into the air. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and due to winds that were slightly outside of the safety envelope, none of the balloons were able to take off that morning. They continued to fill the first balloon and monitor the winds right up until the decision was made to stay on the ground. The crowd began to disperse. We were certainly disappointed that we could not come back the following day, but there's always next year. I took this shot shortly before leaving. I sympathized with the young lady's expression.


Mud Bath

After the kinetic sculptures finish their runs through the mud bog (see previous post), spectators are invited to play in the mud. Some parent's actually dare to let their kids coat themselves in a thick layer of brown muck that will certainly not come out of any clothing. I'm sure it's quite fun for the children as long as they don't mind being hosed down afterward. I didn't want to stick around at this location for very long because I knew the race would be continuing in the river and I wanted to get down to the river exit before the first participants arrived. But, I couldn't leave without grabbing at least a few shots. This youngster seemed quite happy to be covered in mud all the way up to his neck.


The Mud Bog

One of the stages in the da Vinci Days kinetic sculpture race is the infamous mud bog. At Crystal Lake Park in Corvallis, they create a deep, muddy mess for the racers to drive through before getting hosed off and entering the river for the next stage. Some never make it out (on their own at least). Most breezed through the long stretch of mud, only to get hung up trying to exit the course and climb back out to dry land. For human powered machines this is quite a work out, I'm sure. This pair of shots are of one of my favorite sculptures. In the second photo, the team is taking a quick pause to plan their attack after stalling out in that last crucial moment. I believe they were eventually successful at making the corner, up and out of the mud without outside assistance. Others were not so lucky.




Kinetic Sculpture Parade

On the second day of da Vinci Days, Saturday, the kinetic sculpture participants put on a short parade near the festival site. As the sculptures came back into the corral area, spectators converged to check out the contraptions up close and talk to the drivers. There was a fair amount of theatricality and fun to be had. This gentlemen was one of the racers and he wasn't shy about posing in his costume for the cameras and crowd.