Pic(k) of the week 49: Balloons over Bagan at sunrise, Myanmar (Burma)

By now, most blog-readers are probably aware that I'm back from an exciting two week photo-adventure in Myanmar (Burma)... One of the objectives of the trip was an extensive test of the brand-new Fujifilm XF 50-150 2.8 lens. An "IN THE FIELD REVIEW", can be found here.

Even though I'm still in the process of editing the more than 3000 images of the trip, its obvious that this week's image needs to come from Burma!

One of the most memorable moments was without doubt the two sunrises we witnessed over Bagan; the capital from the 9th till the 13th century. Even though it meant waking-up around 4am, it was all worth it! 

Spread over the size of Manhattan island, the plains of Bagan have over 2000 temples, monasteries and pagodas which are more than 1000 years old! 

The best view is likely from one of the twenty hot-air balloons which take-off all together at sunrise every morning. Unfortunately we were not able to catch a ride as everything was pretty much fully booked, months in advance... 

Fortunately, there are quite a few temples and pagodas that can be climbed, giving a second best view!

The oldest of the three companies organising balloon rides since 1999, is; "Balloons over Bagan". From the terrace of one of the temples, I shot the image below of two of their balloons, being almost perfectly symmetrical to the Gawdanpalin temple. Yes, I agree there is some luck involved in this shot!

Balloons over Bagan at sunrise

For the ones paying attention to detail, one can see that there is a slight color difference between both balloons; the darker one on the right has clearly a newer balloon envelope than the one of the left.

I agree that shooting balloons over Bagan might be considered a bit cliché, but to me it is part of what Bagan is about today! The fact that there are no other balloons in the frame (no, I did not remove any!) and that we have an almost complete symmetry going on, make this image unique to me...

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF50-140 2.8 lens
ISO 200, 140mm (210mm full frame equivalent), 1/640s
RAW development in Lightroom 5.7
Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for contrats and detail enhancement

I'm working hard to upload new images into a dedicated gallery: Myanmar (Burma).

One can the first of a multiple series of blogpost about this latest photo-adventure before the end of this week...

Remember: "Travel is the only thing that you buy, that makes you richer" !

Till then,
Happy shooting,