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Photography Question 
Joyce Fisher

member since: 5/24/2006

Hot Air Ballooning

I'm going on a hot air balloon flight in a week, and hopefully the fall colors will be good. Any suggestions for getting some good shots while I'm up there? I won't be able to use a tripod (sorry all you instructors), so if anyone's got some technical tips or anything to pass on, that would be great.

10/15/2006 8:36:21 PM

Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/21/2004
  sure,steal my heart.
circular polarizer for sure.time of day is lens no matter the mm.use about 400 iso.shoot with the sun at your back,or 90 degrees will work.creeks and fields,some composition if possible.
what time you going and where?

10/15/2006 9:30:15 PM

Joyce Fisher

member since: 5/24/2006
  We're going at sunrise (hope the weather permits) in New Jersey. Thanks for the tips. Hope I'll have some photos to post.

10/15/2006 10:19:14 PM

Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member
Richard's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Correcting and Enhancing Images
4-Week Short Course: Looking Good in Print and On the Web: Color Management
I thought I recognized this ballooning excursion! Feel free to ask questions like these in the PS101 course as well.
A tripod may not be possible, but a monopod might be (tripod with only one leg). I use one of those when a tripod is too cumbersome or when photographing in active areas where putting down a tripod would be impossible. At the very least, you might want to strap on a bean bag to use for steadying your shots.
Speaking of strapping, don't forget to use your strap - nothing would be worse than losing the camera over the edge! In such cases (shooting from a boat, in my case), I double strap: I have a hand strap and a neck strap on at the same time. It acts as a failsafe, and has likely saved me more than once from hearing a dreaded 'kerplunk'.

Enjoy the trip!

10/16/2006 9:01:30 AM


member since: 6/13/2003
Last year I shot from a balloon. There were two of us and the pilot. If it will be just you and the pilot in the basket, you may use a monopod, but if there are three or more, you will not have room! You will not find a bean bag of much use either because you would have to bend to rest it on the basket edge and your behind (any ones' behind) will not have the room.
Also, when you land, it is common for the basket to tip over and depending on the speed, you may hit hard. Have all camera gear packed in a cushioned case before landing or you risk it.

10/17/2006 2:57:52 PM


member since: 6/13/2003
To continue, the tanks take up a good sized area and the pilot must get to them easily, that is why I am cautioning you about the tight quarters.
I used 400 ISO film, wide angle lens, and a polarizer.
Don't take so many pictures that you miss seeing it with your own eyes!!!

10/17/2006 4:11:29 PM


member since: 6/13/2003
Here are some of the photos I took that day. It was hazy, but that seemed to evoke a "floating into the unknown" feeling.

10/17/2006 5:09:58 PM

Sylvia Rossler
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sylvia
Sylvia's Gallery

member since: 7/6/2005
  Hi Joyce ;)
I made my first balloon trip last month and it was a great experience!!I think you won't need any pod, if weather conditions are right you won't feel any move of the balloon. We were 4 persons in a basket so there was np place to move, if possible check out where the sun is before you get in the basket and try to get a place with the sun in your back, you will get better colors.Like Richard said don't forget your strap!! I took a lot of pictures that day but only posted a few in my gallery because I had hazy conditions. Enjoy your trip :o)

10/17/2006 9:47:36 PM


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