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Hey everyone! I thought I’d share a few photos from a really cool experience last week. Sony had a small event in San Diego and invited me out to give the Sony A7 line of cameras a try. Part of the event was a hot air balloon ride pretty close to sunset. While I’ve photographed the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta before, I’ve never actually gone up in a balloon. All I can say is WOW! What a cool experience.

First off, if you haven’t downloaded Periscope for your IOS phone yet, you have to give it a try. Even if you’re not going to broadcast live video, it’s a great way to consume content. I downloaded it before the balloon ride and I streamed (live!), the experience (even the landing). Here’s a link to check it out and watch the video. And make sure you follow me because I’ve got some cool ideas to start sharing photography info.

The Gear

I went pretty minimal on the gear. Just the Sony A7 II and the 70-200 lens. They didn’t want a bunch of gear in the balloon and people changing lenses and all that, so we all only brought one lens. But the 70-200 was the magic lens I think. Anything else would have been too wide from that high up.

I was a fan of Sony’s Alpha line before this trip, but after really getting to put it to the test I’m even more of a fan now. Between the camera features, the quality of photo that comes out of it, and the light weight of the mirrorless setup, I’m really having to consider my gear choices.

Anyway, here’s a shot of the balloon while it’s being inflated. Basically, they lay it all on the ground, take a huge fan and inflate it.

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Some Photos From Up High

When you’ve never been up in a balloon before, it’s hard to know what to expect and what you’ll shoot. The first thing I noticed is that the best shots of a hot air balloons, are when you’re in the air shooting at other balloons. I’ve always just been on the ground shooting up at balloons but it’s great to get a different perspective.

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Shooting Straight Down

These were by far my favorite shots though. I realized that just shooting out of the balloon and capturing the landscape around you was anti-climactic. You’re so high up that it’s hard to really get a compelling photo. But when you shoot down and capture some of the interesting patterns, textures, and light the photos had a totally different look to me.

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Lots of Fun

If you get the chance to get to a balloon festival, or even go up in a balloon, I’d definitely try it. It’s a lot of fun with plenty of photo opportunities.

A big thanks to the Sony Alpha team for inviting me out. As expected, the cameras performed great and what’s not to love about that Zeiss glass that Sony has? 🙂

Have a good one!

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