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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 2nd January 2013
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Hot Air Balloon tips please

Lucky me

I'm off to Kenya on Friday for a safari and then on to Zanzibar for a beach holiday. We are doing a hot air ballon ride on the last morning of the safari section over the Masi Mara at dawn.

Can't wait but I've been thinking that I don't want to waste precious time trying different camera settings so I was wondering if any forumers, if there is such a word, had any experience of taking shots from a hot air balloon.

My current thoughts are to use my 14 -54 on my E3 @ f8 with focus set to infinity as the starter for 10. This is to try and get that sense of the sheer size of the place.

Grateful for any experiences from anybody.

cheers

Hec
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Old 2nd January 2013
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

Take a parachute
Seriously, when I took pics from a helicopter or small plane I just took them as if I was on the ground. Using film and manual settings, only trouble was haze from time to time.
Look forward to seeing your pics, sounds exciting.
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Old 2nd January 2013
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

There are quite a few HAB photos in my gallery, if you care to go back a few pages (images 169-172). If I recall I took my E-30 and 12-60, and let autofocus do the work. Remember to take some from inside the basket, as the burners, fellow passengers, pilot, etc. make interesting images also.
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Old 2nd January 2013
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

Although I did not take a balloon ride when I went same time in 2011 the most useful thing was a large bean bag........I didn't use the mono pod which I lovingly carried at all. One day we will be going back.......and don't forget to see and pay homage to "Freddie's" house in Stone Town!..........Have fun!
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Old 2nd January 2013
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

I would think that using RAW you would be able to recover any tendency to over exposure of the aerial images.
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Old 2nd January 2013
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

No HAB experience but from Helicopters and Planes had to keep the shutter speed up but there is maybe not as much vibration in a HAB enjoy
P.s take a brown bag will leave the reason for it vague, all I will say as I was told in a heli if you use it it's yours!!
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

No vibration in a HAB, except from knees knocking together! No, seriously, I have a pathological hatred of any height above 3 feet, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We were over Perth. Africa may be a tad warmer?

If in doubt you might want to consider a grad filter, but I didn't bother.

Incidentally, most balloon pilots seem to be from Southern Africa, for some reason.
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

Lots of hot air in SA?
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee man View Post
Lots of hot air in SA?
I didn't want to say that ...
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

I'l let you know on the origins of the pilot

As for the other stuff I'll let AF do the work and may use f11 -f16 on reflection with iso 400 or even 800 to keep shutter speeds up.

Thanks for the help.

cheers

Hec
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRAHAMJ View Post
Although I did not take a balloon ride when I went same time in 2011 the most useful thing was a large bean bag........I didn't use the mono pod which I lovingly carried at all. One day we will be going back.......and don't forget to see and pay homage to "Freddie's" house in Stone Town!..........Have fun!
I have a bean bag and used it extensively on my previous safari. May be good in the baloon as well.

Untill a few months ago I did not realise Mr Mercury's Zanzibar connection. I hope to do a trip into Stone Town as I hear it's interesting so maybe I'll be posting a shot of his house.

cheers

Hec
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Old 2nd January 2013
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

I did a balloon ride in Cappadoccia, central Turkey a couple of years back. I used the 14-54mm (w. e-3) for most of the trip and switched to the 50-200mm for the last 20 minutes or so. The wider lens was best for landscapes (AF was fine). There where no big game opportunities to be had with the 50-200mm. I also took a point & shoot that covers something like 25-300mm just in case.
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Old 2nd January 2013
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

Having just edited an African trip for some friends using a E500, exposure was a real problem. Shade areas, specially faces, came out nearly black whilst bright backgrounds were perfectly exposed. On anything directly facing the Sun, exposure was excellent, back or side to Sun, iffy
They set the camera to ESP, might have been better on Center Spot?
Sure there are members who can advise better than I can, but a little spotlight practise might help?
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Old 2nd January 2013
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

I wouldn't use anything above f8 unless you are wanting to keep people in the basket sharp along with inifinity. Diffraction starts to kick in above f8 on a 4/3 sensor softening everything. Most Oly lenses perform best around f5.6.

If you shoot Raw, then contrast can easily be sorted later, but if it's hazy and shoot JPG only, you may want to bump up the contrast.

Bruce
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Old 2nd January 2013
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Re: Hot Air Balloon tips please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imageryone View Post
Having just edited an African trip for some friends using a E500, exposure was a real problem. Shade areas, specially faces, came out nearly black whilst bright backgrounds were perfectly exposed. On anything directly facing the Sun, exposure was excellent, back or side to Sun, iffy
They set the camera to ESP, might have been better on Center Spot?
Sure there are members who can advise better than I can, but a little spotlight practise might help?
I have been once before and opted for spot metering on the subject and found no real problem. That was with my then body which was an E520. I do shoot RAW as well so a post processing correction is available as long as it's not blown at either end of the histogram.

Hec
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