Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Telegraph Hill at Sunset
San Francisco, California

Coit Tower and downtown San Francisco as the sun sets slowly in the west (23K jpg, Canon 24-mm, January 1997).

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During January 1997 I spent much of my time commissioning a new computer system and tending to the start of Spring Semester (I'm teaching a design studio this term.) One Saturday I had to make a run into San Francisco for computer parts and noticed the wind was blowing rather nicely. As end of the day approached I headed for Telegraph Hill to get in a quick couple of rolls -- my first in about a month. After parking in the circle I sent the Sutton 16 aloft in moderately gusty winds. Thinking I might fly the Canon rig I hauled in the Sutton 16 and sent up the Sutton 30. It too flew well with plenty of lifting capacity. The winds were out of the west which allowed me to fly over the unoccupied eastern flank of the hill. This (cropped) shot was taken with the Canon as the sun was setting. San Francisco is an undeniably beautiful city.

Views of Coit Tower (44K jpg left and 26K jpg right, T4 Super, January 1997).

These two shots of Coit Tower, clearly differing in exposure, show the dense urban fabric that surrounds Telegraph Hill. In the lefthand view we are looking just west of south, in the righthand toward the southwest. The sun is low in the sky and glints off of the horizontal rooftops

The Telegraph Hill parking circle (47K jpg left, Canon 24-mm, and 45K jpg right, T4 Super, January 1997).

This is the parking circle at the top of the hill. On the weekends you usually wait for awhile before a slot opens up. In the lefthand image you can see the entire circle with its statue of Columbus (it is the Italian North Beach area after all). Ringing the parking is a handsome set of concrete bleachers arrayed to face the panoramic view. In the righthand provides a closer view in which you can see me (seated, tennis shoes) and a dozen or so onlookers. I was assisted this day by a patient man named Tom who stayed with me for an hour or so manning the kiteline, watching the gear while I moved around etc. When the 100th bystander asked "what's that on the kite? or how do you know what it is seeing? or you should send up a video camera" I conferred upon Tom official KAPer status. He gave me a knowing look.

A plan view of homes clinging to Telegraph Hill's eastern slope and your author flirting with German tourists in the parking circle (61K jpg left, Canon 24-mm, and 73K jpg right, T4 Super, January 1997).

I'm quite fond of the lefthand image -- a plan view of housing along Telegraph Hill's steep slope. In the image we are starting to see the green mantle of spring. This is a great relief as I find winter particularly sobering. The righthand shot shows the parking lot and a pair of German tourists waiving after a quick seminar on KAP basics.

A broader view of Telegraph Hill (shown here is a montage of three Canon 15-mm images at sunset, 24K jpg, February 1997)

As the day wound to an end I sent up the Canon 15-mm lens for a few shots. This view wraps from due south (downtown on the left) to due north (Alcatraz Island and the bay on the right).

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