Photoessay: Those magnificent men in their flying machines

There’s a magical whimsy about hot air ballooning. It’s always appealed to me because of the silence, grace and intimate connection with your environment that you can’t get from other forms of flying; unfortunately there’s also the issue of complete lack of control over navigation, and the fact that your sole protection from the elements is a wicker basket, and the only thing keeping you from crashing is a thin bag full of gas. But still, I do enjoy watching them fly and very occasionally going up in one myself. MT

Images from a variety of events.

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Fire. Nikon D700, Zeiss ZF.2 2/28 Distagon

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Unhappy at being left behind. Leica M8, 35/2 ASPH

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Rising. Leica M8, 35/2 ASPH

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Watching the show. Nikon D700, 24/1.4

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Evening glow. Nikon D3100, 85/1.4 G

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High priest saluting the power of fire. Nikon D700, 24/1.4