Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

DNA Sculpture
Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California

A ground-level shot of the DNA sculpture at the Lawrence Hall of Science (39K jpg, Canon 15-mm, August 1997).

go to location mapAs the summer of 1997 progressed I became heavily involved a couple of academic projects. These kept me away from the important work of kite flying for almost a month and by the day of my last workshop I was distinctly eager to get a kite aloft. My chance came late that afternoon with a quick trip to the Lawrence Hall of Science in the hills behind Berkeley. I've long been intrigued with the large sculpture of a DNA strand that occupies the plaza at the Lawrence Hall of Science and this became the day's target.

There was a somewhat fitful wind that afternoon and the only kite with a hope of lifting a camera rig was the 7.5 foot, carbon-framed Rokkaku. After flying for around twenty minutes I decided to try to get a camera up. The Rokkaku's lift was just marginally above that needed to lift the rig. In a steady wind that is often the ideal condition because there is very little strain of the kiteline and the rig sees less motion and vibration. Unfortunately, the winds that day were not particularly steady. On occasion they would drop off and send me into a mad scramble to retrieve line and keep the camera rig in a controlled descent. My pent up desire to take photographs kept me flying.

The DNA sculpture from about 150 feet up (23K jpg, Canon 24-mm, August 1997).

This shot shows the entire DNA sculpture in the late afternoon sunlight with changes in the pavement pattern and the shadows of display bollards. While flying the Canon Rebel rig I finally had a rough landing that scratched the lens hood of the 24-mm lens -- my first real camera scratch Still, I kept flying.

Two plan views of the sculpture (25K jpg left and 26K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, August 1997).

I find these plan views of the DNA sculpture pleasing and abstract. At almost any other time there would be a gaggle of children climbing about the structure but on this day the plaza was quiet. I prefer the sculpture with humans on it.

Two fisheye views of the sculpture (25K jpg left and 31K jpg right, Canon 15-mm, August 1997).

I flew the fisheye lens for awhile and spent a considerable amount of time just holding it while waiting for enough wind to get it aloft. These shots were taken during brief periods of wind. Continue to the next page to see the remainder of this day's shots.

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