Digital Photography: 9/11 Aerial Tribute, Elephant Butte, NM

Wow, talk about a weekend for digital photography…   I had driven down to Elephant Butte, NM to meet up with a friend of mine from work and see about taking pictures of him during his participation in a 9/11 Memorial Display, flying the Colors over Elephant Butte Lake…, just a few miles outside of another town you may or may not have heard of, “Truth or Consequences, New Mexico”.  That’s right, the town named after a game show.  Well, after popping up early on Sunday morning, I got out and made contact with some of the hot-air ballonists, just getting a feel for what was going to take place during the course of the morning, when one of the balloonists mentioned they were short crew members for getting the balloon up that morning.  Even though I had just stopped in  for some information, I was asked the question, “So, do you want to crew for us?”  I couldn’t resist.  So, I spent the next hour or so helping out with setting up a hot air balloon and snapping photos in-between jobs.  It was as blast.  After the balloon was set up and ready to launch, the next question asked was “Who wants to go for a balloon ride?”  I was patient, I bit my tongue, I really wanted to go up, but I waited for anyone else who might want to go up as well.  When nobody jumped up, I decided to go on the trip.  I was not disappointed.  The temperature was comfortable, the company was entertaining and knowledgeable, and the view was spectacular!!!

When asked about why I enjoyed photography as kind of an introductory questionaire on my recent trip to Maine Media College, after a little thought on the subject, it hit me.  I am not now, nor have I ever enjoyed being a spectator at anything in my life.  For some the enjoyment of pro football, pro baseball, tennis, wrestling…  All make very interesting spectator events, depending on your interests.  I’ve just never been that into spectator events.  For me, photography allows me to be an active participant in any event, whether it’s recording my memories or someone else’s, creating a mood, or documenting an event.  Photography takes me from the spectator role in any given event and magically transforms me into an active participant.

So, even though I wasn’t able to connect with my friend from work, I was able to connect with another old friend that presents itself from time to time, Once again I met opportunity, and I was not disappointed.  The biggest refresher/lesson I got from this weekend…  Life’s about more than just standing by and watching interesting things take place around you.  It’s really about taking advantage of those rare opportunities when they present themselves and using them to make great things happen.

For me, the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 was about much more than remembering the sacrifices of those who risk their lives daily for others, it’s also about celebrating living.  And what better way to do that than by participating in life instead of just spectating?

A new gallery: 911 Aerial Tribute Elephant Butte, NM

Digital Photography Basics , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Kevin Bettencourt

    That was a great story Dewayne with a point driven home powerfully. It’s easy to forget what life is all about when you feel swimming in it. The 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Tribute must have conjured several emotions. The names Truth or Consequences and Elephant Butte Lake add a special flavor to boot.

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  2. Jeff Dodd

    Hi Dewayne, Cool EB 9/11 photos/blog. Maybe see you at L-7 at the balloon fiesta. Good meeting you. Best, Jeff Dodd

  3. You take amazing pictures

    ~Mark Hogan

  4. It is a sad day for many people, but it can also be a day to remmeber how important is to be alive and celebrate the beautiful planet in which we live.

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  5. I think I’m more concerned about a lake named after and elephant’s anatomy than a town named after a game show 🙂

    The photography is nothing short of magnificent and a great story, as well!

    Stay Extraordinary, Neil

  6. Clare Delaney

    I love hot air ballooning and have been lucky enough to do so in some exotic places. I really enjoyed your blog today – and of course your photos are great!

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  7. Great photo’s Dewayne . I have no intention of flying in a balloon , helicopter or small plane . That’s just the kinda bloke I am . There just has to be a story about Elephant Butte .

  8. Great photos Dewayne! I love the one on the 2nd page with all the hot air balloons along what looks like a sandbar shoreline.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  9. Roger

    Awesome pictures! Glad you were there.
    Gotta get you back to skydiving……..maybe with your camera?

  10. Great post and an amazing photo! I agree that we should celebrate life. I am happy to be alive every day of the week. I have lost so many loved ones that I feel the need to celebrate the living loved ones – every day!

    Lisa McLellan
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