Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Pigeon Point Lighthouse
San Mateo County, California

Pigeon Point as seen in a two-photograph montage (56K jpg, Canon 24-mm, October 1997).

go to location mapThese images are associated with another Boy Scout function. Each October, Berkeley's Troop 6 heads to Coastaways Beach on the San Mateo coastline for an overnight camping trip. I made the trip with sons Charlie and Thomas. It was a fine trip highlighted by splendid weather, good company, and a stunning physical setting. The campsite was just south of the Ana Nuevo wildlife preserve and a few miles from the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. So in the late afternoon I dashed out to shoot a couple of rolls at the lighthouse compound. .

The lighthouse surrounded by a "sun dog", photographed from the ground at an earlier time (14K jpg, Canon 24-mm, October 1997).

The 110-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse is one of the tallest lighthouses in America and has been guiding mariners since 1872. The lighthouse is described in a nice collection of pages maintained by by the lighthouse staff. It was also the subject of an earlier gallery page containing images taken exactly one year prior. In fact, they were the first shots taken with my Canon Rebel X-based rig. On this day there was a steady 15 mph breeze from the west and the Sutton 30 was soon flying happily.

Another montage of two photographs, this time cropped, showing the lighthouse and point (45K jpg, Canon 24-mm, October 1997).

After satisfying myself that the Sutton 30 was indeed flying happily, I sent the Canon Rebel skyward. It turned out to be a delightful hour or so of kite flying with a cooperative breeze and scenic surroundings. I was flying single-handed and have grown comfortable operating in this mode. My largest concern was keeping a "weather eye" on my equipment bag to make sure it did not walk off. As the afternoon progressed I was adopted by a young visitor to the lighthouse and he dutifully carried my bag around as I shot. It was a great service.

Closer views of the lighthouse taken with the fisheye lens (14K jpg left and 27K jpg right, Canon 15-mm, October 1997).
These fisheye views were taken near the lighthouse proper. The one on the left reveals a fair amount of detail in the tower shady side. The other shot is oddly proportioned.

Another pair of fisheye views (34K jpg left and 21K jpg right, Canon 15-mm, October 1997).

Telltale signs that give the fisheye lens away are a curved horizon as seen on the left and a curved kiteline as seen on the right (at least in the larger jpg). I try not to overuse the fisheye but I do enjoy its superwide view on occasion. At times, however, it sees such a wide range of light values that exposure becomes problematic as in the right-hand image.

Closer views of the lighthouse grounds (41K jpg left and 43K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, October 1997).

The shot on the left appeals to me because it is such an unusual fence intersection detail. On the right you can see a rather dramatic deck belonging to the lighthouse's associated hostel.

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