Flying with Hot Air

While in Trier I had another very interesting experience: three hot-air balloons were to take off in the late afternoon as part of an air-show in nearby Utscheid.  Hot-air balloons have fascinated me for a while now, so I didn’t have to think twice about whether to go or not.  As we got there the weather was beautiful and there were lots of flying activities, but the wind got stronger and stronger, so the balloons weren’t able to start.  But they did something at least as spectacular — a night-glow!

It was a great performance, but it wasn’t easy to shoot it.  The balloons were very bright and the surrounding area very dark (1/6″ at f/2.8 at ISO 1600), so I had to find a moment when both burners were just beginning to glow.  At full brightness it was either the balloons or the foreground, but not both.

In Utscheid I met the crew of the Eifel balloon and a few days later I was invited to photograph them in flight.

Unfortunately all places in the basket were already booked, so I had to observe the flight from the ground, but that too was quite exciting.

Still, next time I definitely want to experience what it feels like to be in the basket and looking down instead of the other way around…