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Hot Air Balloon Photography – 5 Tips for Great Photos


Taking a ride on a hot air balloon is, in itself, a wonderful experience. Getting to photograph beautiful scenery from such a high vantage point can add a lot of excitement to a photo shoot. The shots that you take from such a high altitude would be something totally different and unique from all other pictures that you might have taken from ground level. However, there are a few things that you need to know in order to make your photography session run smoothly. Here are 5 simple tips for shooting the best photographs from a hot air balloon.

1) The first tip is a simple tip. But many people still ignore it. Take extra film and batteries on your ride, as you will not be able to acquire them when you are in the balloon. If you are using a digital camera, have an extra memory card handy in case you run out of memory space. Insufficient film, memory or battery power should not ruin your chances of taking breathe-taking pictures.

2) Ensure that all your straps are intact and allow the camera to hang easily from your neck, even while shooting. If you accidentally drop your camera, it will never survive the fall. So ensure that your camera strap is secured around your neck at all times. It will also ensure that people down below will not get injured if you accidentally drop your camera.

3) Take a zoom lens or a couple of them to get interesting shots from above. Since balloons are completely silent when they fly over, it is possible to spot wild life in their natural habitat from high above. So a zoom lens would come in handy to focus on some great wild life moments.

4) Collect thorough knowledge about places of interest along the route. Since balloons are carried by the wind, it is not possible to correctly predict the route. Nevertheless, you will be able to find out the scenes that you will most likely fly over. So try to get a map of the area and know in advance what subjects you will be focusing on. Planning your shoot well in advance can help you make maximum use of your time aboard the balloon.

5) Take your pictures with the sun?s rays perpendicular to the axis of you camera. Then the subjects will be illuminated from one side and have a shadow detail to make interesting pictures. This will give them extra depth when compared to fully illuminated subjects. If you follow these rules when taking aerial photographs from a hot air balloon, you are sure land with some truly memorable.

Rick Valence is a camera repair specialist at C.R.I.S. in Chandler, Arizona. Along with being a camera and photography enthusiast, Rick enjoys camera repair blogging in his spare time and traveling around the world to find exotic regions and experiences to photograph.