Have you been to a balloon launch? What is most surprising is the noise and the thrilling mix of flame with the flammable. Imagine taking such risks for the pure joy of flight.
Susan says, “Hot air balloons are almost always launched at dawn. People gather in the darkness, amid acres of limp nylon. As the sun begins to lighten the sky, the fires are lit and so begins the strangely thrilling process of filling highly flammable balloons with hot air produced by open flames. The balloons take shape as they begin to climb slowly off the ground, until, inevitably they begin to rise with passengers in the basket below. It is a primitive and mesmerizing sight – a recreation of man’s earliest form of flight. The balloons themselves are gigantic, and look far too big and unwieldy to be controllable. But they are to some extent under ideal conditions of light air. And there they float, noiseless now except for the occasional hiss of gas to boost them still higher. Interesting to ponder how the first balloonist dared to use fire to float his delicate balloon.”
Lucia says, “To me this was magical. Although I knew how hot air balloons worked, I had never seen it happen up close. This golden flame lighting the peoples’ faces as it filled the golden balloon was only one of hundreds. Susan is right, the sound roared, as all around balloonists prepared to launch. After that, all that could be heard were the oohs and ahs of the spectators. Yes, the sight of the kaleidoscope of colored balloons in the air was spectacular, but I liked the preparations. They were a photographer’s dream. The flames, the colors, and the rising sun were a great combination to photograph. My intention was to capture the awe I felt while watching this scene and inspire the imagination of people like you, who would see the photo later. What do you think? Did it work?”
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