Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Drake's Beach
Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Your author wading in the cool Pacific waters (26K jpg, Canon 24-mm, May 1997).

go to location mapOn a fine May weekend Claudia and I found ourselves childfree by merit of a Boy Scout camping trip. After working around the house on a hot Berkeley day (rare weather for us) we headed for Pt. Reyes seeking a respite from the weather. At Drake's Beach we found a pleasant off-shore breeze and the much desired cooler temperatures.

I took this shot with the Sutton 30 tied off to a canvas bag filled with sand. It is rare for me to leave the kite tied off to something and walk around with the transmitter. On this occasion steady winds made it seem a reasonable course. One's ability to compose is aided by this independence from the kiteline. In this image I am wading in the surf while the Canon flies a hundred and fifty feet or so over my head. The print shows the turbid water on the ocean side of the wavelet in great detail. This turbulence is less apparent in the attached JPG and almost invisible in the small GIF above.

A fisheye view of the scalloped Drake's Beach. This south-facing beach receives good sun and is protected from the rough Pacific waters (33K jpg, Canon 15-mm, May 1997).

Drake's Beach is surrounded by dairy land. Main access to the beach is achieved through a wash between the beach's pleasant bluffs. In this image you can see the parking area and a small building operated by the Park Service. The beach always seems to have a scalloped profile -- one imagines there is a lateral current running down the beach at times.

A quartet of images from above the Drake's Beach surf. From the upper left clockwise: a Canon 15-mm shot of Claudia (32K jpg) a Canon 24-mm shots of sunlit surf (29K jpg), hills and surf (24K jpg), and frothy backwash (51K jpg).

I was eager to fly the kite on this particularly afternoon because similar conditions had produced some of my favorite KAP images at nearby Limantour Beach in 1995. So I set about taking images of the ocean edge as it changed from moment to moment. We arrived after 4 pm so the kite flying occurred during the fine light of late afternoon. Each of these shots contains a human being or two for scale.

Your author in a grazing light test shot (61K jpg, Canon 24-mm, May 1997).

This is one of my change-of-roll test-to-see-if-things-are-working shots. The low, warm sun brings out the footprint-scale texture of the sand. I made the track in the lower right when dragging the sand filled canvas bag that served as kite anchor that day.

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