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Fourth Of July 2015 Sky Lantern

Every year, my son and I go to the annual Fourth of July fireworks show in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 2015, the fireworks were fired from atop one of the downtown skyscrapers, making them visible all over the central city. The Courthouse Green was full of people, as it is one of the closest places that spectators are allowed.

I enjoy the fireworks show, but I am much more interested in photographing the people than I am in photographing the fireworks. As we were walking around the Courthouse Green, we noticed a tiny hot-air balloon soaring up from the crowd.

I found the group of teens who had sent it up; they were getting ready to launch two more of them. I photographed both launches; and this series of photographs is from the first of them, a yellow balloon.

The balloons were very simple. A plastic bag with a package of paper suspended in the opening at the bottom. You ignite the paper, and the fire heats the air inside, making the balloon fly. Eventually, it burns out and falls. The father of one of the kids said the he bought them at one of the ubiquitous fireworks stores that spring up all over Fort Wayne each summer.




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