Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Beach Abstractions
Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Can you tell what this is? It should become clear when you view the linked jpg (June 1996, link to source image 66K jpg)

go to location mapAmong the charms of kite aerial photography are the abstract patterns that emerge when viewing familiar subjects from unfamiliar vantage points. This seems particularly true of plan views - images taken when the film plane is parallel to the ground plane. There is much intrigue in this dimension of kite aerial photography. The images on this page were all taken at Limantour Beach during a June camping trip. They are all plan views and while the subjects in each case are recognizable, it is the abstract nature of these compositions that appeals.

I'm very fond of the beach view below on the left. It was taken about 15 minutes before sunset and captures a series of nominally parallel zones ranging from the ocean to dry sand. In particular, the receding wave front provides a fine double line and the footprints mark the limit of recent waves. The stream image on the right strikes me as a set of forms and textures that could be captured from many possible heights. It reminds me of a space shuttle photograph of the Middle East.

A plan view (left) of the beach from around 100 feet up and (right) a stream crossing the beach from a 300-foot-high vantage point (June 1996, 43K and 33K jpgs).

A stream's now dry path (left) through the sand beach and (right) the still-flowing stream between bluff and beach (June 1996, 36K and 62K jpgs).

I took the lefthand shot when my 12-year-old campers built a dam to block a small stream crossing the beach. I'm glad I got the shot before they traipsed across it. The righthand image has fine textures and nice low sunlight.

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