Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Pierce Ranch
Pt. Reyes Peninsula, California

A high, wide view of Pierce Ranch. The Pacific Ocean is on the left, Tomales Bay on the right (36K jpg, Canon 15mm, February 1997).

go to location mapPierce Ranch was the site of my second roll of kite aerial photographs and subsequent early rolls as well. This page contains photos from a return to Pierce Ranch with the Canon-based KAP Rig #2. During February, Claudia and I had a very pleasant visit from Owen and Maura Lewis from University College in Dublin. One fine, clear Sunday we motored out to Pt. Reyes for a bit of a tour. After a nice lunch at McClure's Beach Owen and I photographed the ranch while the women took a (literal) hike. This image shows the ranch buildings and the approach road turning left toward the McClure's Beach trailhead. It is a notable image in that the Pacific Ocean is visible on the left and Tomales Bay (a watery manifestation of the St. Andreas Fault) is visible on the right. The cove in the upper right served deep-water sailing ships during the 1800s. They would dock there to take on dairy products for sale in San Francisco. I'm rather fond of this image despite its fisheye distortion.

Two additional fisheye views of the ranch (27K jpg left and 53K jpg right, Canon 15-mm, February 1997).

The left image provides a lower view of the ranch complex and its mature Monterey Cypress windbreak. On the right is a close-up of the huge, handsome milking barn. I've walked past this structure 50 times but never noticed the extended foundation lines evident in the photograph. The barn was apparently either larger at one time or it has been moved over a bit. The trial in the foreground leads northward toward Tomales Point -- a lovely five-mile walk.

More conventional views of the ranch buildings (29K jpg left and 40K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, February 1997).

These images show the wonderful mantle of green that comes with the California rainy season. It is a lush, lively period that only improves with the arrival of spring flowers. The 24-mm lens provides wide views without the barrel distortion of the fisheye. I am growing fond of this lens

The milking barn and other out buildings (38K jpg left and 45K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, February 1997).

On the left is another view of the large milking barn with its great shingle roof. I use a photo of the trees visible beyond the barn in one of my microclimate lectures. This large row of eucalyptus has grown into a classic aerodynamic shape under the influence of the prevailing western wind. The foremost tree is stunted almost to the point of death while the high canopy of the most leeward tree is lofty and stress free. On the right is a view toward the west and the Tomales Point trail.


A classic example of the Opposition Effect (31K jpg, Canon 15mm, March 1997).

Have you ever been flying along at 30,000 feet and noticed that in the location where your airliner should cast a shadow there is instead a bright spot? Seems an odd thing to be bright where a shadow should occur. I attributed the effect to some sort of atmospheric disturbance related to the jetliners great speed. I guess that doesn't explain its presence in kite photographs does it?

Turns out the Opposition Effect is related to the lack of apparent shadows when viewing a textured surface while aligned with the sun's rays. The same phenomenon causes the moon to appear brighter during its full phase. Makes sense when you think about it.

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