Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Boy Scout Camp at Lake Utica (cont.)
The California Sierra Nevada

A ground-based shadow portrait of Charlie and myself (41K jpg, Nikon 35Ti, July 1997).

As the camping trip at Lake Utica continued I became increasingly comfortable flying the kite in the Sierra conditions. The principal challenges were variable winds and the tall evergreen trees. I dealt with the variable winds by always flying the carbon fiber framed Rokkaku. It was nice to get even more flying time on this kite. The trees are worthy of great respect for it would be easy to strand some gear around 100 feet up. I just made a point of watching the trees carefully.

View of a typical launch site (I'm in center of rock) and a less obstructed section of shoreline (49K jpg left and 39K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, July 1997).

The image on the left shows a typical launch site among the evergreens. I'm located in the center of the bare section of rock where I could carefully launch the kite and nurse it out between the trees. Later I would repeat the process with the camera rig. Once both were above the treetops I could relax a bit unless the winds dropped off too much. It paid to keep a weather eye on the upwind lake surface. The righthand image shows a much easier flying site. I'm at the far left of the rock with assistant of the moment Zachary. In this case there were few trees. Note the canoe in the sun glint.

Broader views of Lake Utica toward the southwest from two different locations (36K jpg left and 35K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, July 1997).

Lake Utica is a handsome body of water with deep, clear water that picks up the blue of the sky. These shots communicate the scale of the lake. It is never particularly wide and features a convoluted shoreline.

Plan and oblique views of the hill adjacent to camp -- can you match the features? (49K jpg left and 48K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, July 1997).

These shots show the slight hill that was adjacent to the troop's campsite. The lake wraps about 220 degrees around the hill. The photos show the typical fractured stone Sierra Nevada landscape.

Senior scouts near the campfire site (35K jpg left, Canon 24-mm) and their handiwork at day's end (18K jpg right, Nikon 35Ti, July 1997.)

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