I’ve been to several balloon festivals over the last few years. The pilots and crew are incredibly friendly and accommodating to photographers, as long as you stay out of the way.
The envelopes (the balloon part) can be really colorful and fun. I especially like looking into the balloon while it’s partially inflated and still laying on the ground. There’s an abstract-ness I find captivating and the backlit colors from the early morning sun really pop to make a great image (in my opinion anyway).
I’ve got this image, and a few more, over on my web site. You can find them here…
While we were in Cappadocia we took a flight in a balloon. I’ve got to admit I thought the price was a bit steep and didn’t feel like it would be worth it. Boy, was I wrong; it was amazing.
We had to wake up at some ridiculous hour, like 5am, and stand around in the cold breeze while they inflated the envelope and got ready to fly. But once we got off the ground, the breeze stopped, cause we were drifting along with it, and we floated silently over the landscape. I was giddy. I’d jump at the chance to do it again; it was totally worth it!
I take a lot of photos while I’m traveling. I’m guessing you do too. I think it’s because everything is new and exciting and different from home. But I don’t think of myself as a ‘travel photographer’, I guess it’s because I think of ‘travel photography’ as being more about capturing images that ‘sell’ the location and I don’t feel I do that very well. I guess my images are more ‘art’ (but maybe not ‘fine’ art) in that they don’t really have a purpose or tell a story; they’re just scenes/moments I felt compelled to capture.
Anyway, this image is from a trip to Cappadocia, Turkey. The rocky formations across the landscape are amazing and it is a very popular place for lighter than air flight. We didn’t really know that and the first day we were amazed to wake up and see balloons dotting the sky. The next day I woke up early and captured this shot of a balloon playing among the rock spires.
One of the lantern festivals I attended was a two-day affair. The second night I watched the event from afar and caught lantern trails as they rose up from the venue. It was cool watching them lift off, but not as exciting as being in the middle of the event with the surrounding hubbub and lantern glow.
Something about lighter-than-air flight has always fascinated me; as a child I was mesmerized by hot air balloons floating over the landscape. Experiencing it first hand, albeit on a smaller scale, with sky lanterns, was just as rewarding.
Have you had a chance to participate in a lantern festival? Would you care to share your experience with me?
(Sony α7RII, FE 24-70 @ 24mm, 1/30s, f5.6, ISO 1600.)