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Flying over the Namib Naukluft, Namibia

Perhaps the best way to get a first close look at hot-air ballooning activities is to attend a balloon festival. These are held all over the world and can be found by searching the internet. Another approach is to purchase a ticket for a flight in a commercial balloon. Although tickets are generally quite expensive the experience of a first flight is unlikely to be forgotten. Commercial balloons operate in many areas, so it is not unusual to find an opportunity locally.

Around the world there are numerous iconic locations where commercial balloon flights operate. Spectacular flights can be made over the wildlife of the Serengeti in Kenya and Tanzania, Melbourne and the Yarra Valley in Australia, Florence, Siena and Pienza in Tuscany, Italy, the Namib Naukluft desert in Namibia, Luxor in Egypt, India, as well as South Africa, Morocco , the Swiss Alps, Canada, the USA and many other locations. However, where you choose to fly may be influenced by many factors, not least where you happen to be at the time. However, serious aerial photography is driven by specific objectives and requirements. Never lose sight of the purpose of your photographic work. A first flight may focus on aspects of balloons and ballooning, but later flights may have a more specific purpose and the balloons may have only a supporting role in photographs.

Aerial shots of iconic locations offer unusual perspectives and may be balanced and given scale by the inclusion of another balloon. Since most balloons flights are scheduled for the first and last hours of daylight, shadows are typically long and the light is soft and warm.

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