A Bunch of Hot Air

Saturday evening, I hit up the Bluegrass Balloon Glow with Mrs. Rev.  This was my first ever Balloon Glow and it was pretty cool.  I know, you’re saying “But Brooke, you’re in your 20s and there is at least one every year during the Kentucky Derby Festival.”  But alas, I’ve never been.  I don’t really care for crowds or people who don’t make their children mind so usually tend to stay away from these things.

Case in point, I almost crammed a plastic whistle down a little girl’s throat because she wouldn’t stop blowing it.  That would teach her mom who said “no more whistle in the car… because it’s annoying.”  No shit it’s annoying – it’s annoying the 20 people surrounding you.  Don’t wait until the car, make her stop blowing spit into that thing now.  Please.  For the love of pete.  Arg.

OK, not really, but we were complaining to each other about that stupid whistle.  Can you tell I haven’t had my coffee yet?  Don’t worry, I have a mug in front of me.  It’s just really hard to type with both hands and slam down burning hot java.  Hmmm, java slammers.  I think I’m onto something…

Back on subject.  The Balloon Glow.  Totally Mrs. Rev’s idea.  “We’ll get some really cool shots!”  And we did.  But I have about 486 really bad shots too. But you don’t get to see those.

Bluegrass Balloon Glow

We headed over at 7pm thinking dusk would be the perfect time to capture the “glow” but our timing proved to be a bit off because balloons started going down 20 minutes after we got there (and it took 15 minutes to walk from the car to the field).  A storm was rolling in and these floatable contraptions didn’t want to get caught up in it.  I understand.  But I was sad about it.  We took advantage of the setting as best we could: we snapped away like mad men, going from one balloon to the next.

Bluegrass Balloon Glow

The colors of the balloons were fantastic.  The size of these things – ginormous!  Like I said, never been to a Balloon Glow.  Or Festival or Race for that matter.  Man, you think I wasn’t a Louisville native.

And the heat!  We propped up next to a balloon that was blowing it’s torch before packing up, I mean we were right next to the basket, and now I have know how idea how these people keep their eyebrows!  It was extremely HOT!  And zero of those pictures turned out because I got too excited to set the shot up correctly.  It happens.  I’m easily excitable.

Bluegrass Balloon Glow

By 7:54pm, there were only 2 balloons left blowing hot air.  We saddled up next to one.  Which was  a great idea because they kept blowing that torch like they had all the fuel in the world.  And because people wanted to take their picture in front of it.  So we kept moving around the balloon, setting up different shots, cursing the dark sky and the unpredictable shooting flames.

Bluegrass Balloon Glow

This one is my favorite.  The flames look amazing and there’s just enough light from the torch to see the faces in the basket below.  And everything else is black.  Hoowah, I got a money shot.  This still makes me question why these people have eyebrows.  Or even hair for that matter.  If I worked one of these things, I’d be in flame retarded retardant clothes from top to toe.

Bluegrass Balloon Glow

There were fireworks after the Glow.  Mrs. Rev told me I should quit being a baby and take my tripod for the fireworks.  I said “No.  Human tripod, right here.”  In which she just called me a baby again.  Folks, I hate carrying the tripod.  And it’s broken – nothing a little super glue can’t fix but that’s my reasoning for now.

But Mrs. Rev got some pretty cool fireworks shots.  Because she wasn’t a “baby” and carried her tripod all over god’s green earth.  I’m a little jealous.  The human tripod did not perform up to par.  But yes, these are Mrs. Rev’s fireworks shots – you can see more of her photos at her flickr.


photographed by Mrs. Rev


photographed by Mrs. Rev


photographed by Mrs. Rev

The Glow ended with a bang.  And a hotdog.  And rain as we trekked 15 minutes back to the car.  Through tall field grass.  And wet shoes.  With water pegging us in the face.  Did I mention it was raining?

Thanks to WordPress for a spot on the home page this week!
And thanks to Mrs. Rev for getting my butt out in the rain. :)

To learn more about Brooke and see her recent work, visit her new site at brookemurphyphoto.com. Follow Brooke on Facebook or Twitter.

September 29, 2009 - 10:27 am

Steven Harris - Couldn’t the whistling kid have been put in a balloon? She’d only be annoying the birds then. ;)

September 29, 2009 - 11:11 am

Brenda - you’re photo’s are breathtaking! what kind of camera do you use?

September 29, 2009 - 11:16 am

shutterboo - I shoot with a Canon Rebel XT. My pal Mrs. Rev (she shot the fireworks) shoots with a Canon Rebel XSi. We were both sporting the kit lens.

September 29, 2009 - 12:25 pm

Dewey - Love your photography. I have always wanted to take a ride in one of these. Someday!!

September 29, 2009 - 1:08 pm

Nikki Hahn - Beautiful! I was lucky enough to go in one high into the sky for a few minutes as a child. I have never forgotten it. Boy, do I understand about your child remark. How many times have my husband and I gone out to eat only to be seated next to the noisiest children in the restaurant? Luckily, this is a rarity for us. Word to the wise: Don’t ever pray for patience! God may seat you next to a noisy child. lol.

September 29, 2009 - 1:15 pm

starrosebud - wow

September 29, 2009 - 1:33 pm

Michael - being afraid of heights, love the balloons, fun to watch from the ground.

September 29, 2009 - 1:35 pm

Annaiz Rzepka - I’m so dying to take a trip on one of them,
are they pretty loud?
there is one that leaves from del mar to temecula, and they give you champagne., by the time you reach temecula, you are wasted of course..
in which you are no longer scared of the heights, the balloon falling down, or the noise..

September 29, 2009 - 1:45 pm

gloriadelia - Beauatiful pictures!

September 29, 2009 - 1:56 pm

shutterboo - The baskets on these balloons looked kind of small – hold 3-4 people standing up. The torches were loud and HOT. But very cool. I agree with Michael, I’d rather watch from the ground!

September 29, 2009 - 2:08 pm

katie - as always great photos! the 3rd photo is an absolutely magnificent shot. the contrast between the brilliant colors in the balloon and the night sky/moon are fantastic! well done.

September 29, 2009 - 2:44 pm

wedding photographers in Orlando, Florida - they do champagne brunch balloon rides above my house every Sunday
in Orlando, looks awesome

September 29, 2009 - 5:56 pm

AmyH - These pictures are BEAUTIFUL. I’m sorry the evening did not go as well as planned, but I hope you make another trip to a balloon event sometime in the future. I just love balloon rallies (my favorite part is to get there pre-dawn and watch the balloons prep for flight, then launch – breathtaking!)

September 29, 2009 - 6:02 pm

shutterboo - I am far too lazy to get my rear in gear that early in the morning.

September 29, 2009 - 6:03 pm

shutterboo - Amen.

September 29, 2009 - 9:54 pm

katie - ps. how do you keep making it to the wordpress “freshly pressed” home page? i’m so jealous!

September 30, 2009 - 5:06 am

psychologist1 - wow! they are so colorful and big! i would be happy to try that though i am very afraid of being high in the air…

September 30, 2009 - 9:26 am

Poe - wwowowoow those balloons are beautiful

October 1, 2009 - 2:05 am

JimmyBean - I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

A definite great read..Jim Bean

November 17, 2009 - 9:49 am

Not A Bunch Of Hot Air « shutterboo - […] Balloon Festival in hopes of getting some good photographs.  And we did.  And I wrote about it here.  Mrs. Rev had mentioned that BBF was holding a photo contest.  I figured why not submit a couple […]

March 5, 2010 - 5:53 pm

Discoking - Great Blog!……There’s always something here to make me laugh…Keep doing what ya do :)

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