How to Take Stunning Shots of Hot-Air Balloons

The International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival and Festivent Ville de Lévis are golden opportunities for photographers to take amazing pictures! Follow our tips to make the most of these magical moments, whether you stay on land or hop aboard a hot-air balloon.

Equipment

Take your best camera with you, especially if you’re planning to soar up into the sky. Ideally, you should bring along two lenses (a 10-20 mm wide-angle zoom lens and a telephoto lens) so that you can take advantage of the various viewpoints from the hot-air balloon. If you have a smartphone, it’ll be harder to take nice pictures once you’ve reached a certain height in the sky. Got a fisheye lens? This is the time to use it—it’ll allow you to take superb photos from the gondola by grouping together, in one picture, the passengers, the pilot, the flame and the surrounding sky. Truly magical!

Experiment!

The take-off period for hot-air balloons lasts at least 45 minutes. This gives you plenty of time to change your settings or reposition your tripod in order to take advantage of different viewpoints. What’s more, the sun won’t pose a problem—you can always position yourself so that it’s behind you. In short, you’ll have time to experiment with your shots.

A few ideas

1. On land

2. In the sky

If you get the chance to take to the skies, bring your camera and two lenses (a wide-angle zoom lens and a telephoto lens) in order to vary your shots at different heights.

Special thanks to Patrick Beaudry, photographer, SNAPePHOTO (www.snapephoto.com)

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How to Take Stunning Shots of Hot-Air Balloons

The International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival and Festivent Ville de Lévis are golden opportunities for photographers to take amazing pictures! Follow our tips to make the most of these magical moments, whether you stay on land or hop aboard a hot-air balloon.
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