05.20/Hot air balloons

‍Balloon festivals are fun events to photograph.

‍First, there’s a lot of color. It’s relatively easy to get interesting photos when colorful balloons combine with a blue-sky day.

‍Then there are the balloons themself. Not all are the traditional inverted-teardrop balloon shape. I’ve seen balloons shaped like Darth Vader and Yoda, like cakes and ice cream cones, fish, footballs, soccer balls and Elvis Presley.

‍It’s a visual cornucopia.

‍But the best part, by far, is "the glow."

‍"The glow," for those who have never attended a balloon festival, is an incredible sight. The balloons are tied down and inflated after sunset, the flames from the propane burners illuminating each balloon from within. This creates a collection of giant, colorful, glowing bulbs standing tall against the night sky.

‍It’s almost like being surrounded by a string of huge Christmas tree lights blinking on and off as a large crowd watches. I have a number of photos of bright balloons against a night sky.

‍There have been a number of balloon festivals during late summer in Central Ohio. I attended several Grove City balloon festivals as it moved through names and sites: Balloons Off Broadway in a lot beside a school, and Balloons & Tunes and the Grove City Hot Air Balloon Fest at the Beulah Park horse race track. Both the balloon festival and the race track are no longer in Grove City. There’s another large balloon festival at an airport in nearby Marysville, Ohio, each August, but the site isn’t as photo friendly as the Grove City sites had been. I attended the Marysville event once and will probably return sometime in the future, but it isn’t on my “must photograph” calendar like the Grove City festival was each year.

"The glow," for those who have never attended a balloon festival, is an incredible sight. The balloons are tied down and inflated after sunset, the flames from the propane burners illuminating each balloon from within. This creates a collection of giant, colorful, glowing bulbs standing tall against the night sky.

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