Hot air balloon photography can produce terrific results, and ballooning has numerous advantages for the photographer, compared to more conventional methods of flight. There are no windows on a balloon, giving you the opportunity to take photographs in all 360 degrees. A balloon is also great platform for panoramic photography over the majestic and tranquil Virginia countryside. We will be flying with Bonaire Charters - http://www.bonaire-charters.com/ . Our hot air balloon adventures will be piloted by Scott Cohrs, the owner and chief pilot of Bonaire Charters. Scott has been flying commercially in Charlottesville and the surrounding areas for over 23 years. Space in the basket is tight, we will need to limit camera gear to backpacks of 10-20 pounds. Mono-pods only, there will be little room to setup Tripods.
Tip #1 - Bring Along Sufficient Storage Media
Your time in the air will be limited, so you'll want to take as many pictures as you can while you are up there, and review and delete pictures once you are back on land. Bring several gigabytes of memory. The more photos you take, the higher the chances of producing a breathtaking picture.
Tip #2 - Bring an Appropriate Zoom Lens
You will find yourself several thousand feet above the ground, so a lens of anywhere between 50 and 200 mm will be your friend. Bring your wide-angle lens also, so you can take more sweeping photos of your surroundings.
Tip #3 - Avoid Blur and Shake
There are perils of aerial photography: it is often very difficult to avoid unwanted blurring or vibration effects when taking pictures from the air.
One way to prevent blur in well-lit surroundings is to use a faster shutter speed. On a camera that supports manual shutter speed adjustment, set your shutter to 1/250th of a second or quicker.
Another way to prevent blur is to up your camera's ISO. This adjusts your camera's sensitivity to light, allowing you to use lower shutter speeds in less light. Set it to 400, 800, or 1600.
Most digital cameras have anti-shake features. Enable your camera's image stabilization. This setting is typically represented by an image of red hands on the viewer.
Tip #4 - Use Interesting Angles
Once all of your settings are lined up, you should try to produce a wide variety of pictures, including effects that cannot be replicated from the ground. If you are approaching buildings, bridges, or stands of trees, use unconventional angles. Take pictures from directly above the subject or from a slight angle, maybe 75 degrees. Viewing everyday objects and structures in new ways is a worthy objective.
Tip #5 - Try Panoramic Photography
A balloon is a great platform for panoramic photography. Balloons are slow-moving and accommodate unobstructed photography. With a wide-angle setup, take several shots to record a 360 degree perspective, and find a photo stitching program to combine your pictures into a panoramic image.
Tip # 6 - Have Fun