This is a huge festival devoted to unpowered flight with hot air ballooning and paragliding the big spectacular events. Well if ever an event combined my main interests of sport, theatre and travel to perfection this was it.
So in 2004 I returned and hit the site very early with the Canon 1D, which I thought was the bee’s knees at the time and a 70-200 lens with adaptor. This shot happened almost at once. Later, as the sky filled with competitors and the mist burned off the distant Alps the mood changed radically. Fancy dress hang gliding was “superbe” – a word oft repeated by the MC as daredevils went over the precipice piloting such items as a full drum kit (while playing it!), a hospital bed complete with irreligious Nun and Priest and a big crowd pleaser; the Jamaican Olympic Bobsleigh Team – flying high as they say. Eventually weather conditions grounded the balloon flights and sheer exhaustion called a close to an exhilarating day.
After a hotch potch career that saw stints as a motor cycle courier, supply teacher and stage manager, Derek Simpson took to press photography in 1999, specialising in sport for a local paper.
Photographer since 1999, EPUK member since 2006.
See more work by Derek Simpson