Hello IFC! Here’s a slightly different topic.
Global Ballooning Australia offers sunrise flights over Melbourne and Yarra Valley, and while the price is quite ridiculous it’s something that you’ve got to try once.
So I channeled my inner @Balloonchaser and now we’re here at this topic.
Bit of a backstory: The sun rises before 6 am in Melbourne in the summer, which means the balloons need to airborne not long after then (both for visual and functional purposes). We were staying in downtown Melbourne which meant a 2:00 AM wake-up call and after a quick breakfast, we were in the car and on our way to the Balgownie Estate, 50 minutes away. After arriving around 3:45 AM and having a brief panic attack over the loss of my battery cover (I found it!), we got checked in and signed a few waivers. At 4:30 AM they grouped us up and started driving us out to the launch site (read: field), about 10 minutes away. By 5:00 AM they had given us a safety briefing and had unloaded all the balloons from the trucks, and by 5:50 AM the first balloon lifted into the sky. We were pretty middle-of-the-pack and we lifted off at around 6:20 AM give or take a few minutes.
I apologize if the pictures are of sub-par quality, since it was pretty dark for most of these I had to use a higher ISO and keep a slow shutter speed, even with my f/1.8 lens.
Shot on Nikon D7500 + Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 VC
The initial inflation process takes more or less 15 minutes. The “engine” of the balloon was far more intense than I expected. It’s quite loud and you can feel the heat from quite a distance.
We were essentially the “leader” of this group of 5 other balloons, seen here lifting off under some nice sunrise colors.
The sky soon lit up beautifully as the sun passed through some broken dark clouds (I don’t care that there’s not a balloon in this).
I wanted a shot with all the balloons lit up but the guy in the closest balloon was super conservative and barely lit his engine for decent chunks of time. When he did light up for like 10-15 seconds though, the balloon behind him decided not to. This is the best I could get, I still really like this shot.
15 minutes later we landed in some other random field about 10 miles from where we started. It’s funny because they have you do this specific landing position but the balloons come in so slow and land so softly that you could’ve done a handstand in there and been fine. I guess it’s just in case of a rollover.
Also, if you’ve got a JetPhotos account, I would really appreciate a like on this photo of the balloons here: https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9646682
Thanks for viewing this!