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.

(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.

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.

(Christopher Michel)


Balloons Over Bagan

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

(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.

(Christopher Michel)


Balloons Over Bagan

You could almost reach out and touch the palms.

(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.

(Christopher Michel)


Balloons Over Bagan

Gliding serenely just above the temples.

(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.

(Christopher Michel)


Balloons Over Bagan

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

(Christopher Michel)


Balloons Over Bagan

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

(Christopher Michel)

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