Chinese Sky Lanterns at Stonebridge Golf Club Reception
Michael Caswell Photography

Chinese Sky Lanterns at Stonebridge Golf Club Reception

This couple's wedding reception took place at Stonebridge Golf Club on the westbank, in Gretna, Louisiana. During the reception, the couple and some of their guests went outside to release floating Chinese sky lanterns.

These sky lanterns, also sometimes called wish lanterns, look beautiful as they gently rise up into the evening sky. They can be a little tricky to launch successfully, as you need to light the candle and let it fill up the space inside with hot air, which is what enables it to rise (since the hot air inside weighs less than the cooler surrounding air)... simply lighting and releasing it will cause it to immediately fall to the ground.

This photograph was my favorite in this series. What's fascinating about it is the lighting... I chose to shoot it with no flash, using only the very small amount of light provided from the lantern the couple was releasing. Although the old adage of, "it's the photographer – not the camera – that creates a great picture" is certainly true, it's also an inescapable fact that there are some images that just would not be possible to capture without the extraordinary low-light capabilities of today's camera bodies and lenses, and this is certainly a good example.

Location: 1500 Stonebridge Dr, Gretna, LA 70056.