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  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    Forty-five minutes after we lifted off, the sun had risen and we had landed. And in keeping with ballooning tradition, we enjoyed a glass of champagne to toast the ancient city of Bagan.

    Read about Christopher Michel's experience in Myanmar.

  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    A shot taken with the Leica M9 + Noctilux lens. The sandy shores of the Irrawaddy River can be seen in the distance.

  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    Even backlit, the balloons add a dramatic touch to an already spectacular scene.

  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    Nikon’s 14-24mm lens was invaluable on the shoot. For a cool effect, consider including the top of your balloon in the frame.

  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    You could almost reach out and touch the palms.

  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    Ideally, there will be enough light to illuminate the balloons around you. In this case, the sun’s offset plus some highlighting and color work in Adobe Photoshop was sufficient to allow the balloons to maintain color and detail.

  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    Gliding serenely just above the temples.

  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    Smoke and mist add to the ethereal quality of the experience. The pervasive use of wood stoves creates quite a bit of smoke and haze throughout Myanmar.

  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    The occasional roar of the flame is the only sound you hear while soaring.

  • Photo: Christopher Michel

    Balloons Over Bagan

    The 1944 Chevrolet buses support a single balloon for take off.

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