Orlando Balloon Glow

The Orlando Balloon Glow was last weekend in Baldwin Park.  Thanks Kevin M. for telling me about it!  Lynn and I had never been to anything like this.  It was fascinating to see the process – especially at dusk, and it made for a compelling photo op.

The action took place in a large field in Blue Jacket Park, which can accommodate a big crowd with good viewing for everyone.  It started around sundown when air blowers began inflating the balloons.  Scout the layout so you can catch some of the activity in good light or against the sunset.

Dusk inflationDusk inflation.  iPhone XS back camera, 4.25mm, 1/200 sec @ f/1.8, ISO 32

Once they’re partially inflated, propane burners light up and provide heat needed to make the balloons float in the air.

Hot AirHot Air.  Olympus E-M1 MII, 40mm, 1/10 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 500

The light is challenging.  There’s very high contrast with bright flames against dark surroundings.   You’ll need to balance aperture and shutter speed with ISO and image stabilization to eliminate motion blur and get sharp, well exposed images.  I’ve added my setting info to these photos to give you an idea of how I shot them.  These were all made hand-held.  If you don’t have image stabilization, you’ll probably need a tripod.

Heating upHeating up. Olympus E-M1 MII, 40mm, 1/10 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 500

The balloons strain against their tie downs and then rise into a blue hour sky.

Blue hour balloonsBlue hour balloons. Olympus Pen F, 17mm, 1/3 sec @f/1.8, ISO 500

Once they’re ready, you can purchase tethered rides on some of the balloons.  The event also features Orlando area food trucks, a retail village and activities for kids.  We splurged for paid parking and were glad we did, since space was tight for all the cars.

And one warning:  There were a lot of ant hills in the field, so be careful where you step – especially after dark.  You may want to wear closed shoes instead of our typical Florida flip-flops.  Just sayin’.

According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel (it may be pay walled), organizers hope to bring a full-scale balloon festival to Orlando in 2019.  I’ll be watching for that!  I have a few more images here on Flickr in this album:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/albums/72157703724477924

This was a very colorful, unique, and interesting Central Florida Photo Op.  Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2018, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

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