Saturday, December 29, 2012

Getting high in Turkey

I was hooked as soon as I did my first balloon ride a decade ago. The feeling of weightlessness, experiencing the sun rise with no encumbrances from 500 feet. I felt at one with the clouds, the air, the amber hues and the isolation. It was pure exhilaration.

There's a huge bonus for photographers. There is an eagle-eye view of the drifting landscape. For the fine art photographer you can watch the play of light as the first streaks of light illuminate landforms with long streaks of warm colour.

A good balloon captain will rotate the balloon 360 degrees every five or ten minutes meaning you get to view every compass point. The experienced balloon photographer knows there are strategic advantages  in selecting a corner position, allowing a 270 degree angle of view. A side position allows you less than 180 degrees.

Prime lenses result in the sharpest images. A prime lens of about 50mm is close to perfect. Using aperture priority set to about f4 or f5.6 is about right. Remember, there is no depth of field to speak of because the land is all at the same distance.

If you are given a choice between the pre-dawn flight and post-dawn flight always opt for the pre-dawn flight. Capturing the sun breaking the horizon is a mystical experience. Modern digital cameras allow you to shoot using ISOs of 800, 1600 and 3200 with virtually no noise. Leave the late flights for the sleepy heads!

Our Turkish Delight Tour in 2013. led by author John harman and myself will see us spending three days in Cappadocia, exploring the valleys of cascading cliffs and photographing the Byzantine tunnels at Kaymakli and the underground cities at Derinkuyu.

If you would like more information about Turkish Delight or to book for the information evening on Wed 30 January please contact Helen on 08 9386 5385 or email Turkish Delight 2013.

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