Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Doe Library
University of California, Berkeley

A high oblique of Doe Library (35K jpg, Canon 24-mm, May 1997).

go to location mapDuring the last couple of months I've been taking quite a few images near the center of the UC Berkeley Campus as part of a computer science project. On this day I found clear skies and relatively light winds. I flew the Rokkaku with its new carbon fiber frame and the kite started out flying reasonably well. For the most part I lofted the Canon rig with 15- and 24-mm lenses. I also came the closest yet to losing a rig in flight.

In this steep oblique you can see the white, 250 # kiteline that anchors the Rokkaku. I'm at the corner of the north entry plaza stair.

A lower view of Bancroft Library and Doe Library (right) and a high plan view of the new underground addition (36K jpg left and 32K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, May 1997).

The problem with my rig came with the Rokkaku flying at a very steep angle. Quite awhile back I started placing a locking loop on the downhill side of my Hangups for the case when the kite line gets quite steep. The Picavet certainly looks odd at this angle. During this flight the kite was directly overhead at one point - 90 degrees above the horizon.

The high view to the right (above) was taken after I spooled out quite a bit of line trying to get the kite to settle to a lower angle. It didn't. Instead the kite headed upward like it was on an elevator. A little while later it heeled over to the right and complete a 360-degree "loop" while the camera rig was attached. This definitely got my attention and I brought everything down as quickly as possible. I am now thinking of flying the Rokkaku with a tail. Anyone have other suggestions?

The northeast corner of Doe Library revisited (29K jpg left, Canon 15-mm and 40K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, May 1997).

These lower images were taken before the kite started to misbehave. In general I love the kite - a 7.5-foot Kevin Shannon Rokkaku. It's new frame made with carbon fiber sticks lets it fly in the lightest of winds with useful lifting power. I do have to solve the overflying problem however.

Closer views of the northeast corner (27K jpg left, 33K jpg center, and 25K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, May 1997).

Images of the northeast corner of the Doe Library's fine facade. This corner was featured in an earlier gallery page. In the leftmost image you can get a sense of how steeply the kite was flying - that is me in the right center of the image.

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