The Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons is a biannual event established in 1989. It is Europe’s largest gathering of hot air balloons, and takes place over ten days at the former NATO airbase of Chambley-Bussières in Meurthe et Moselle, France, where 1000 balloons from 70 nations fly.
In 2015, it took place from the 24/07 to the 2/08. Due to terrible weather conditions the first flights were all cancelled. Fortunately, on the morning of first Sunday, the day of “The Great Line” – and therefore the world record attempt of a simultaneous flight of balloons – the weather was mild. In the end, 433 balloons over three lines took off, forming a total length of 6 km, filling the Lorraine sky wonderfully.
Many other flights took place during the event, but this is the only one with so many balloons taking off at the same time, setting the new world record. With this photo series, Boris Untereiner tries to recreate the emotions felt during the flight.
There are plenty of professional and amateur photographers milling around the take-off area, however, to get on board a flight to take pictures requires permission…and luck. A media gave him the golden pass.
The morning of the flight, he woke up at 4am and had to be on site by 5.30am. He only took his DSLR and a ultra wide angle lens to include as many of the balloons as possible flying in the sky. It’s not possible to take an assortment of kit because there simply is no space inside with other people. In regards to composition, he had to work with what he got because the pilot only controls the altitude, the wind decides the direction and speed.
A balloon flight is an exceptional experience, it’s like being a bird, with no cockpit and in total silence (except when the burners are lit from time to time), it’s really unique – and even more so, with hundreds of hot air balloons surrounding you.