Greetings fellow WHAMOBASSers!


The images below were taken at the annual gatherings of the Whiskey-Hill, Atherton, Menlo Oaks Ballooning and Sporting Society, which takes place in Coaling Station A, California in November each year.

WHAMOBASS is the longest continuously-running hot-air ballooning event in the known universe. It has grown to a modest 30-40 balloon non-commercial rally that is held annually on the anniversary of the first manned balloon flight, made by Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes from the Château de la Muette in Paris on November 21, 1783.

WHAMOBASS was founded by Deke Sonnichsen in Whiskey Hill, California in 1964 when the two-balloon rally got its start. It has been held in a number of locations over the years, but seems to have settled for good in the town of Coalinga, on the western edge of the San Joaquin Valley in central California.

THESE IMAGES are panoramic photos taken with a Nikon D1X professional digital camera on a rotating base. The resulting images are transferred to a Macintosh G4 computer. Using software called Apple QuickTime VR (Virtual Reality) Authoring Studio, the images are stitched together and made into a continuous panoramic image.

The flat images below are reductions of the original files.

Happy ballooning and happy viewing!

Brian P. Lawler

These images are now available as archival photo prints.
You can purchase online with secure payment through PayPal.

The best WHAMOBASS portrait ever! The 2004 40th Anniversary event, November 20-21, 2004.


The 2004 Field photo. The weather this year was cloudy, with almost no wind, causing the balloons to stay over town.
When it came time to land, many of the balloonists landed on city streets or in parking lots. Sunday's flights were cancelled due to strong winds.


The Dawn Patrol prepares for lift-off, Sunday, November 23, 2003. This is a half-panorama (180 degrees).


The balloon field at WHAMOBASS 2003. A total of 41 balloons flew this year's event.


The 39th Annual gathering of WHAMOBASS, Coaling Station A, California. November 22, 2003



The WHAMOBASS people photo of 2002 (No balloon photo was made in 2002)


This is a miniature of the 2001 balloon poster



This is a miniature of the 2001 People poster



This is a miniature of the 2000 field poster.



This is a miniature of the 2000 people poster.



This is a miniature of the 1999 field poster.



This is a miniature of the 1999 People poster.



The posters feature these images, with WHAMOBASS 1998 lettering across the top, and a legend at the bottom.



This is a miniature of the 1998 WHAMOFOLK poster.



Prints are approximately 8.5 x 44 inches in size.
They are printed on Premium Luster archival paper.


The images below are the QuickTimeVR interactive versions.

You can navigate these images with your mouse.

And, you can zoom in and out with the Shift and Control keys.

These QTVR versions are fully interactive, and require that you have QuickTime software plug-in for your Web browser.
Both Mac and Windows versions of this software are available. Go to Apple's QTVR web site and download the software.



Updated Saturday, December 11, 2004, 4:24 PM