Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

The Dutch Windmill
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

A ground-level view of the Dutch Windmill (21K jpg, Canon 24-mm, May 1997).

go to location mapTwo windmills at the western edge pumped salt water back to sea to keep it from killing the vegetation that had been planted. One, the Dutch Windmill, was built in 1902 and restored in the 1980's. Plans are underway to refurbish the other one, the Murphy Windmill built in 1906.

The Dutch Windmill has a concrete structure supporting a large circular balcony and the windmill mechanism itself. The blades are in good shape but lack their fabric covering. The tower must be about 60 feet tall. It was decidedly awkward working the camera into position over the windmill proper. This ultimately involved working the kiteline around several trees, through a gully, and over a set of electrical lines. It would have been impossible without the steady, and strong, Pacific breeze.

Close shots of the Dutch Windmill.
From the upper left clockwise: a mid-height view (42K jpg), looking through the blades to the garden (42K jpg), immediately above the blades (43K jpg), and a downward shot (41K jpg), all were taken with the Canon 24-mm lens in May 1997.

One technique that made these images possible was Charlie Benton's help with a two-way radio. In this case Charlie positioned himself near the windmill's base where he could report the position of the camera cradle relative to the windmill. He can call out the distances within five feet or so at this range. He cannot gauge height very well from his post but I am in a good position to figure that dimension out. For instance at one point he thought the rig had "kissed" the windmill but at that time it was clearing the upper blade by 10 feet. We now carry the radios on all KAP outings.

More windmill views. From the left: The windmill's garden (42K jpg), windmill and shadow (46K jpg), and a view down the blade (39K jpg), all were taken with the Canon 24-mm lens in May 1997.


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All rights reserved. Revised: Saturday, June 26, 2010