Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

The Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse
Santa Cruz, California

Pier 7 in San Francisco (34K jpg, Yashica T4 Super, March 1997).

go to location mapWhen Simon Harbord was in town we toured the Bay Area looking for KAP opportunities. Twice we stopped by the Pier 7 promenade on the San Francisco waterfront. Both times we were thwarted by light winds. In modest desperation we coaxed a camera rig up for a few low-level shots. Simon's shots of the pier turned out much better than mine.

Simon at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse fence (44K jpg. Yashica T4 Super, March 1997).

The next day we traveled down to Monterey to visit Brooks Leffler. On the way down we stopped at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and again the kites would just barely fly - altogether frustrating circumstances. I flew my 7.5 foot Rokkaku -- newly framed with carbon sticks -- and got a few more low-level shots. Later when we arrived in Santa Cruz to find a modest (but building) wind our duty was clear. Out came the kites and up went the rigs.

A fisheye view of Santa Cruz's Steamer Lane on a calmer day (34K jpg, Canon 15mm, March 1997).

We were flying from a small green adjacent to Steamer Lane, a popular surfing spot. You can retrieve five different live views of Steamer Lane from Surfline Online in addition to plots of swell height, tide predictions and satellite photos. It is fun to watch the surfers from this most exciting of city edges. Simon and I flew from the area visible to the right of the adjacent image.You can see the walkway that serves the public gallery of surfing observers. The Santa Cruz boardwalk is to the right of this image. Barely visible in the image is the diminutive Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse which now houses a surfing museum.

Close views of the lighthouse taken with the Canon 24-mm lens (29K jpg left and 28K jpg right, March 1997).

The light wind that Simon and I found grew into a perfect steady sea breeze. I flew the Sutton 30 and found it so stable that I could position the camera rig with some precision. These photographs show the lighthouse cupola in near view. I'm visible just to the right of the lighthouse apex in the lefthand photograph. The black kiteline is doing a fine job of blending away.

Fisheye views of the lighthouse (30K jpg left and 33K jpg right, Canon 15mm, January 1997).

These more dramatic images were taken with the fisheye lens. The camera is only about three feet above the lighthouse spire in the lefthand view yet the wide lens sees the entire building roofscape.


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