Class Offers Balloon Festival Attendees Tips For Taking The Best Photos

READINGTON — As soon as the balloons take to the skies at the Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, tens of thousands of digital cameras will be whirring away. But will you get the best shot and the most out of your pictures?

The three-day festival, July 27-28-29, at Solberg Airport in Readington, is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America and one of the most photographed events in the United States. To help attendees get the most enjoyment out of their picture-taking experience, the Festival is once again teaming with Unique Photo, New Jersey’s largest camera and video store, to offer festival-goers on-site classes in photography.

“As the leader in photography education in New Jersey, this is another great way for us to help photographers capture this breathtaking event and create memories to last a lifetime,” said Matt Sweetwood, President of Unique Photo in Fairfield. “We’ll be doing workshops right at the balloon launch field with access you can’t get anywhere else.”

“We’re very pleased to have the largest camera store in the state add to our attendees’ experience at the festival,” said Howard Freeman, the festival’s executive producer. “We launch the balloons an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset, so you’re taking pictures against two very different skies. These classes will help you capture the magic of ballooning and the spectacular colors and shapes of more than 100 balloons as they take to the skies.”

One of the special shaped balloons sure to be photographed is the Unique Photo SnoBird balloon, a 100-foot-tall tourist penguin complete with a flowered shirt, hat, sunglasses, sandals, and of course, a camera.

Open to photographers of all levels, Unique Photo will offer workshops through its in-store Unique University on July 25 and July 26 at their superstore on Route 46 in Fairfield, where attendees will learn the proper techniques of photographing hot air balloons during inflation and launch.

Classes with VIP behind the scenes access at the festival will be held Friday, July 27 at 6 p.m. where attendees can photograph the first scheduled mass inflation and launch; Saturday, July 28 at 6: a.m. to capture the first early morning mass inflation and ascension; and Sunday, July 29 at 6 a.m. They’ll then be able to spend the rest of their day enjoying the festival’s concerts and family entertainment.

Registration is $69 and includes festival admission, access to the balloon launch area, and the workshop. VIP registration is $299 and includes festival admission, access to the balloon launch area, the workshop, preferred parking, and a ride on one of the balloons during a mass ascension.

Class size is limited. Visit for details on classes and or for festival information.

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