How to photograph from a hot air balloon in Bagan?

You are looking forward to flying over Bagan in a hot air balloon but you may not know how to photograph from the air. Here is an article that gives you some tips on how to be ready for the day.

Before flying over Bagan

To take pretty pictures is better to be in good shape, especially when it comes to flying a hot air balloon to Bagan. The flight time lasts about 45 minutes, it’s short so how to photograph from a hot air balloon?  To be in the best conditions, it is necessary to take into account certain elements:

  • Make a good night’s sleep the night before, sleep well
  • Dress comfortably (while respecting others)
  • Wear shoes that are waterproof to morning dew
  • Prepare your photo equipment so you don’t forget anything the next morning
  • Fixed lens or telephoto lens? It’s up to you. I prefer to have both with me, it requires two devices with me. Otherwise the telephoto lens may be enough if you don’t want to clutter up, a 300mm lens will do, you can zoom in on temples because seen from up there, everything will be small.

Camera settings

A little “photo” revision before doing a hot air balloon flight in Bagan, it doesn’t hurt. Why? Why? Because you are simply wondering how to photograph from a hot air balloon and in order to maximize your chances of succeeding with your photos, you can follow these few tips:

  • Shoot in RAW. Weather is not always the same whether the weather is good or bad. You will attend the sunrise, fly over Bagan in a hot air balloon but who doesn’t tell you that the sky will be clear? In the morning, we sometimes notice a slight mist and when we are not used to photographing it, it can be surprising.
  • Remember to go up to ISO at sunrise, the brightness is not the same as in mid-afternoon. Of course, do some tests to find out how high you can go.
  • Forget the long pose, the balloon flight to Bagan does not last long (about 45 minutes) it is better to think about taking pictures quickly. So increase the shutter speed (priority mode S), you will avoid taking blurry pictures. In general, in photos, we say that the speed is at least equal to the focal length used. If you have a 200mm lens, the minimum speed will be 1/200th.
  • If you don’t have a full-frame box, think about multiplying by 1.5. In this case, 1/200 x 1.5 or 1/300th.
  • Put the autofocus in continuous mode
  • Compose your image well. Think of the rule of third parties, in the sense of reading but you are free to do what you want if you are creative:)

Once you have taken all the pictures you want in the air, check the list of must-see temples in Bagan to see if you have taken pictures of them from the hot air balloon 😉

Find out more tips on Bagan.

If you have any other tips on how to take good pictures from a hot air balloon, feel free to share your experience below.

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