Friday, October 03, 2008

Night Glow

As Summer arrives in Tigard, Oregon, so do the balloons. The Allstate Festival of Balloons in Tigard is held in mid-June, attracting about twenty-five balloon entries from around the U.S.A. and this year one entry from the Czech Republic.

One of the fan favorite events is the night glow. Balloonists set up in the main launch area as the sun begins to set in the evening and as darkness settles in, the pilots periodically blast their burners which light up the balloon like a huge firefly. The unique challenge to getting good shots of the balloons fully aglow is part luck and part astute timing. You see, the pilots only blast the burners for a few short seconds and, except for one coordinated blast called out by the event announcer, the blasts are random. So trying to get a shot of multiple balloons can be a bit challenging; much like catching fireflies.