If you want to work on your color composition, then there's nothing photographic than hot air balloons. From July 27-29, 2012 dozens of balloons will be taking flight in Whitehouse Station, NJ (directions). Although it's about a 1
hour drive from NYC you shouldn't have any trouble with traffic because you'll have to get there early! Balloons will begin taking flight at 6:30 a.m. You should plan on getting there more than an hour ahead of time to park, get shuttled in and scout the best vantage point for your shots. Remember to consider the direction of the sun for this one!
You might also consider bringing a flash light, a blanket to sit on and "second" breakfast. Your shooting time may be well under two hours, so there won't be anytime to go get breakfast after you get there! And don't forget the coffee either!
Festival website: http://balloonfestival.com
Want help with your composition try the Composition Boot Camp. (sign up soon as these photo safaris only run during the spring and summer months!)