Albuquerque Int’l. Balloon Fiesta Photo Workshop

5 Days - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Oct 5 - Oct 9, 2019
Activity Level


Fly up, up and away to the 2019 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta with Hot Air Balloon Pilot and Canon Explorer of Light Ken Sklute.  You will have for an incredible opportunity to photograph hundreds of colorful balloons ascending, glowing and competing.

Registration deadline: September 1, 2019

The Fifth Dimension had it right when they sang, “Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon” and no where else can you appreciate that more than at the spectacular Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Over the past five decades, this festival has grown from just 13 balloons in its inaugural year of 1972 to attracting upwards of 600 balloons today. Considered the largest balloon event of its kind, it’s also considered the most photographed event in the world, with more than 25 million still photographs taken during the mass ascension, balloon glow, fireworks and more. Led by Canon Explorer of Light and Hot Air Balloon Pilot Ken Sklute, you will receive his expert guidance and insight on being at the right place at the right time to capture the most creative images of these colorful giants.


Each day, Ken will provide his expert knowledge in both ballooning and photography and will teach you techniques for intriguing compositions of color and light along with guidance on time lapse photography of balloons as they rise from the earth and float across the skies.


So come fly away with Ken Sklute and Arizona Highways PhotoScapes and capture the kaleidoscope of color at the 2019 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.


Workshop Includes:

  • Photographic instruction
  • Roundtrip to and from fiesta grounds
  • Lodging based on Double Occupancy
  • Hospitality parking and access to the festival
  • Water, snacks and a farewell dinner
  • All applicable entrance fees
  • Pre-workshop webinar
  • Post-workshop critique

Day 1 – Saturday, October 5

  • Participants should plan to arrive in Albuquerque at the Hilton Garden Inn Rio Rancho in Albuquerque prior to 4:30pm to have adequate time to check in to hotel and have dinner prior to our group gathering.
  • Ken Sklute will host a meet and greet and make a presentation from 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Day 2 – Sunday, October 6

  • Arrive at the launch field by 5:30am to begin our photographic journey through the Dawn Patrol, Laser Show and the world famous Mass Ascension.
  • At 10:00am the group will meet back at the hospitality tent for a debrief, Q&A and take a break for lunch.
  • Return to the hotel for rest and time to download images.
  • Early evening we will grab dinner before returning to the launch field for evening activities from 6:30-9:00pm. Here we will photograph the Balloon Glow and After Glow Fireworks show.
  • Return to the hotel.

Day 3 – Monday, October 7

  • Another early rise to arrive at the launch field by 5:30am  for more great photographic opportunities with the Dawn Patrol, Laser Show and Balloon Ascension.
  • At 10:00am the group will debrief at the hospitality tent.
  • Return to the hotel for lunch, rest, and time to download images.
  • Mid-afternoon Ken will do an image critique of your work in the field.

Day 4 – Tuesday, October 8

  • Our last early rise day to catch our final photo opportunities of all the activities at the launch site.  For those participants who are interested, a Balloon ride will be available. For those not wishing to fly, you can try your hand at capturing time lapse photography, using launching and competition balloons returning to the launch field as your subjects.
  • At 10:00am the group will meet at the hospitality tent for a debriefing and lunch.
  • Return to the hotel.  You will have time to rest, download your images, and prepare for our afternoon image critique.
  • Final Dinner
  • Workshop ends

Day 5 – Wednesday, October 9

  • Participants head home or to explore great sights in New Mexico.

Strenuous Rating: Easy-Moderate.
We will spend several hours at a time standing at various locations at the launch site. It is important that you have comfortable shoes and are capable of carrying your gear for extended periods. Mornings may be brisk so we suggest you dress in layers.


Gear Recommendations:

  • A camera body (or two)
  • Wide angle lenses
  • Mid range lenses
  • Telephoto zoom lenses
  • A sturdy tripod
  • A cable release or intervalometer
  • Extra camera batteries
  • Laptop
  • Auxiliary hard drive
  • A thorough knowledge of aperture, shutter speeds and ISO and know how they relate to each other in order to correctly exposure your photos.

Lodging During the Workshop

Hilton Garden Inn Rio Rancho
1771 Rio Rancho Blvd.
Rio Rancho, New Mexico, 87124
Tel: 505-896-1111

Four nights lodging is included in your workshop fee. Single room supplements are available for an additional fee. A courtesy room block is available for the night prior to the workshop, October 4. Should you wish to book a reservation for this evening, it is not included in your workshop fee. Please call the hotel direct: (505) 896-1111, ext. 5002, and mention Arizona Highways PhotoScapes. Reservations should be made prior to August 31, 2019 in order to guarantee availability.

Ken Sklute
Vicki Uthe
Photo Guide
Dianne Langmade
Photo Guide
There are a number of reputable companies who provide Travel Insurance.  For your convenience, we offer travel protection through TravelEx Insurance Services.  For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go or contact TravelEx Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.  Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20




Should you find it necessary to cancel your workshop, the following cancellation policy applies – NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
  • 90 days full payment is due
  • 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $100 administrative fee.  Voucher is good for 18 months.
  • * 60 days or less until departure – No refund.

* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less $100 administrative fee.

NOTE:  Workshop bookings including, but not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging and more are requiring firm financial commitments at 90 days.  Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can some time be unavoidable that is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.


Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel any workshop if our minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event AHPS cancels a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund for the workshop components booked directly with AHPS.  Please Note: we are not liable for the additional expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations or any other components booked outside of the workshop.


PAYMENT TERMS:  A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space.  Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit.  Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.