Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery
Moored boats in the Berkeley Marina (June 1996, 48K jpg)
It was one of those weekends when I couldn't find useful wind near UC Berkeley, my current subject of choice. After a few hours of kite flying in languid winds on campus I headed to the Berkeley Waterfront for a dose of clean air. These photographs were taken around 7 p.m. on one of our long summer days. Many of my KAP shots are taken near sunset. This is in part because I work during the day and in part because I like the low, warm light at the edge of the day (and dawn occurs mighty early).
On the topic of photographing alone
A passerby from Shreveport, Louisiana is pressed into service (June 1996, 45K jpg)
On this occasion I was photographing alone. I've developed a few techniques to help in this situation. The first is to request assistance from bystanders. If you have taken photographs from kites you know the extraordinary capacity of this activity to draw curious bystanders. I put these folks to work. They hold the kiteline while I walk down the camera. They go downrange to report on camera position. They explain what I am doing to the more recent arrivals. Beyond bystanders I have two aids that are particularly useful when working alone. The first is a trusty dog stake. This large spiral screw provides anchorage for the kite in most soils. A quick clove hitch and I can turn my attention from flying the kite to mounting the camera (keeping a weather eye on the kite of course.) The second is a loop of webbing and a carabiner. The webbing can be quickly secured to a handy object (e.g.; fence post, bench) and hold the carabiner which in turn secures the kiteline -- again with a clove hitch. All things considered I'm feeling pretty comfortable working solo these days.
The Berkeley Yacht Club viewed from the east (June 1996, 46K jpg)
This view captures the reflected sun adjacent to the BYC Building. The Berkeley Yacht Club is located on seawall to the immediate south of the marina entry. The Yashica T4 showed less of its normal tendency to flare near the sun in this image.
A view toward the north from over the Berkeley Yacht Club (June 1996, 35K jpg).
This image shows the entire peninsula containing Cezar E. Chavez Park on the Berkeley Waterfront. Built over a former garbage dump the park is a prime location for kite flying. A fueling dock is in the foreground.
The seawall to the immediate north of the Berkeley Marina entry (June 1996, 44K jpg).
Another view of the northside seawall. The buildings toward the right house the Olympic Circle Sailing Club which owns the J-24s aligned along the dock. The water textures in the image provide a nice visual essay about what seawalls do.
A sailboat motors in at day's end (June 1996, 28K jpg).
It is more difficult than you might think to shoot downward and capture a passing boat. In this case I asked them to give me a holler when they passed below the camera rig.
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All rights reserved. Revised: Thursday, July 18, 1996