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Hot Air Balloons & More In Rockbridge County, VA!

Spend a Summer Weekend in Lexington, VA, Photographing Hot Air Balloons, Nature and Antique Cameras!

Quick Details

Non-Photographer Companion

Washington Photo Safari is pleased to announce an exciting new 2-day photo adventure for its clients: a weekend in Lexington, VA that includes photographing hot air balloons by day and by night, the architecture of Lexington, a visit to the famous Natural Bridge State Park, and a chance to feed and photograph animals up close and personal at the Virginia Safari Park. All photography instruction will be provided by professional architectural photographer and WPS Director E. David Luria.

Thanks to the cooperation of our host and one of our most enthusiastic clients, Percita Ellis, MD, FAAP (who is not only a very busy pediatrician at the Rockbridge Area Health Center in Lexington, VA, but is also a board member of the Hot Air Balloons Over Rockbridge organization) we will arrive Friday evening, June 30, at our Wingate by Wyndham Hotel in Lexington for a brief orientation at 9 pm, and then be ready to photograph the colorful Hot Air Balloon Festival launches at (ugh!) 6:30 am on Saturday, July 1.
(The hotel is located just a few minutes away from the festival. If it rains on Saturday, we will photograph the balloon launches Sunday morning.)

After the balloon launch, Dr. Ellis is treating us to a complimentary breakfast on Saturday morning with the balloon pilots and their crews at a nearby IHop!

We then drive in our own cars to nearby Natural Bridge State Park to photograph that famous architectural wonder of nature, have lunch, and then drive to Staunton to the Camera Heritage Museum.

There is also a $20 option on Saturday afternoon to do a tethered ride in a hot air balloon!

After a bit of rest time, we go back to the balloon launch area to photograph the illuminated balloons glowing at night.

On Sunday morning we will drive our own cars, get out, and then travel by group van through the nearby 180–acre Virginia Safari Park, where we can see, feed, and photograph animals such as zebras, llamas, elk, camels, deer, and anteaters up close and personal, and have a goodbye picnic lunch, thus giving us time to return home for the July 4th holiday. (Lexington is about 200 miles southwest of Washington DC.)

This will be a spectacular photo adventure, and you are most welcome to bring spouses, companions, and children to join in the fun.

The fee of only $435/photographer and $60/non-photographer companion and $40/child includes:

  • Admission to the Hot Air Balloon Festival
  • Complimentary iHop breakfast with balloon crews Saturday morning
  • Admission to Natural Bridge State Park, Saturday afternoon
  • Admission to Virginia Safari Park, with van transportation through the park
  • All photography instruction services by Mr. Luria

The fee does NOT include

  • Travel to/from Lexington VA and to Natural Bridge and Virginia Safari Park,
  • Lunches and dinners and picnic,
  • Optional tethered balloon rides Saturday afternoon at $20/person
  • Optional untethered balloon cruises Saturday or Sunday @ $300/person
  • Hotel Accommodations – Group hotel prices estimated to be just $89 (plus tax) per night for 2 nights.

(A block of 14 rooms has been reserved at the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel under the name Washington Photo Safari. Room rates include complimentary breakfast. Call 540-464-8100 to make reservations.)

Registration will be limited to the first 12 clients who register, and many of those spaces are already booked, so don’t wait to book your space!

Suggested equipment: camera body, all lenses from wide to long focal lengths, circular polarizing filter, a Hoodman Loupe (to examine photos in bright sunlight), a tripod, a flashlight to see camera controls at night. Late-model smartphone cameras are perfectly acceptable.