Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Crissy Field Windsurfers
San Francisco, California

High above Crissy Field (42K jpg).

go to location mapWindsurfers around the world know Crissy Field as a premier site for their sport. This north-facing beach lies at the upper edge of the San Francisco peninsula and allows the sailors to launch just to the south of the Golden Gate - San Francisco Bay's outlet to the Pacific. This gap in the coastal hills has unbeatable scenery, fresh ocean winds, and easy access. It also has powerful currents, giant cargo ships, rocks, and fog. You'd better know what you are doing if you windsurf here.

This photograph continues my recent fascination with flying high - a trend inspired by Michel Dusariez's images. The camera is probably at around 400' high in this view that shows the successive layers of the beach experience: parking, roadway, walkway, small dunes, old riprap, dry sand, wet sand with beached windsurfers, water's edge, and the bay with outbound windsurfers. Every now and then I get a remarkably sharp negative and this was one of them. On the print you can see individual footprints in the sand.


Rigs on the beach (53K jpg).

I was flying this Sunday with Charlie and he would head downwind with a walkie-talkie to serve as range spotter. That is Charlie standing in the middle of this photograph of beached windsurfer rigs and their shadows. The wind was blowing around 16 mph during this session. I used the Sutton 16 and the Yashica T4 camera rig for this series. There was plenty of lift.

More beached rigs and windsurfers starting from the beach (50K jpg left and 37K jpg right).

The righthand image shows one windsurfing rig with its sail in the water while the second windsurfer is just sheeting in his sail to head out into the bay. The water goes through a nice gradient from the turbid brown where the wavelets are breaking to the equally turbid green of the bay. The shadow of the outbound windsurfer helps in interpreting the photograph.

Hauling out (58K jpg).

I remember the chore of hauling equipment around from when I was active in windsurfing. At least Crissy Field has a flat, sandy shoreline and easy access to vehicles.

View toward the Golden Gate (22K jpg).

This view from above the St. Francis Yacht Club shows the Crissy Field parking area (middle of the image.) The south anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge is visible on the far right. I like this image because the view must be similar to the view once seen by pilots of light aircraft as they approached the landing strip formerly operated by the military at Crissy Field.

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All rights reserved. Revised: Saturday, June 26, 2010