Flames at Dawn

Temecula is famous for hot air balloons. What most people don’t know, is that for the most part, they only take off at dawn. Prior to launch, they roll out the long nylon balloon on the ground, and slowly blow air into the balloon with huge fans. When the balloon gets just enough air in the huge nylon sack, they light the propane powered flame, and let it blow directly into the huge balloon. Once this happens, the balloon begins to rise, and the basket and balloon are up righted, and ready for takeoff.

Just as they light the flame, and when the balloon is still on the ground is my favorite time to shoot. If you time it right – and the ambient light is dark enough, you can get a shot of the balloon glowing. This is where the term balloon-glow comes from. At the balloon festival in Temecula every year, they have what is called a balloon-glow in the evening every night. They light the balloons exactly as I have described here, they just don’t take off.

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, 1/30 sec, f5.6, ISO 100
All processing done in Lightroom

Temecula Hot Air Balloon

Temecula Hot Air Balloon

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