Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Sailing on San Francisco Bay

Crew of the Wide Load, February 1996 (link to source image, 25K jpg)

go to location mapFor quite awhile I 've wanted to take photographs from the stern of a moving boat. Brooks Leffler and Henry Jebe have shown interesting images in this category and I've been speculating with a friend about KAP as a means to document the start of sailboat races. My chance to try it came with an invitation from Bruce Wilcox to spend a Sunday on the Wide Load, his Santana 35. It was a sunny day but also relatively still so the shots on this page were taken with the sailboat under motor power.

The KAPers eye view, February 1996 (35K jpg)

This view toward the stern shows the Sutton Flowform 16 flying from the starboard side of the Wide Load. I can report that launching the kite from the stern required a bit of thinking due to the tight quarters. Same for the camera rig. The procedure would be significantly more complicated while under sail. You can see the camera floating about halfway between the kite and the water. Come to think of it the camera is pretty close to the water. In fact there were a couple of times when I would inhaul kiteline like mad to keep the rig out of the water. All's well that ends well.

View from astern, February 1996 (33K jpg)

A full boat view of the Santana 35.

Close-up of the crew, February 1996 (46K jpg)

This low altitude shot shows our merry crew of twelve. It looks like a large group when gathered all together but the boat held us comfortably.

Starting line and Committee Boat, February 1996 (28K jpg)

Bruce decided to motor through the start of a Berkeley Yacht Club race while we took pictures. It seems to have worked out ok. This view toward the west shows the fleet as it maneuvers for the start. The Committee Boat can be seen in the center of the image. The Golden Gate Bridge is just visible on the horizon.

Another view of the start, February 1996 (30K jpg)

This view is toward the southwest and shows the Bay Bridge in the background. The sailboats are still working toward a start.

Sailboats from above, February 1996 (54K jpg)

A closer view of passing sailboats looking toward the south.

Another view of nearby sailboats, February 1996 (25K jpg)

A similar view toward the north. The surface shows a nice gradient from reflected blue sky to more turbid bay water.

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All rights reserved. Revised: Thursday, July 18, 1996