Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Return to the Berkeley Waterfront
Berkeley, California

Green and green - an abstract view of the bayside promenade (40K jpg, Canon 24-mm, November 1997).

go to location mapI am on record as saying that I already have a lifetime supply of images from the Berkeley Waterfront and it has been quite some time since I took a roll there. This November was a particularly wet one so the lure of sunlight led me to the waterfront. Besides, I had a new Sutton 60 to test and had been waiting for appropriately calm winds to check it out. This set of images was taken on a late afternoon when the park had an unusual offshore wind.

I started by launching the Sutton 60 with a fuzzy tail in a light wind (around 5-7 mph) for its maiden flight. I can tell a small story about the Sutton Flowform 60. I have been quite a fan of the Sutton Flowforms. They have been very dependable and are my kite of choice for KAP purposes. However, I had been generally disappointed however with a Sutton 60 I purchased around a year ago (an Air Affairs kite acquired from Tom McAlister.) The kite had a pronounced tendency to pull to the right and this increased with higher wind velocities -- not the best of traits for KAP applications. I tried bridle adjustments, different tails and drogues, flying only in low winds or smooth winds -- all to no avail. I never lifted a camera with the kite and finally returned it to Tom. He also experienced the rightward pull and he returned it to Air Affairs. They decided to replace it with a new kite and noted it was their first return in years.

I am happy to report that the replacement kite flies beautifully. Ten minutes after its first launch I had a camera hanging from it. It has been a useful lifter ever since. My thanks to Tom and Air Affairs for standing behind their product.

A late-day view of the waterfront with the sun directly at the camera's back (29K jpg each, Canon 24-mm, November 1997).

On this particular day the sun was low on the horizon by the time I mounted the camera. Since I was flying westward over the Bay I had the opportunity to take a few shots with the sun directly behind the camera. I enjoy this point of view because it produces interesting shadows and a chance to look for the "Opposition Effect".

In this view we see the San Francisco Bay in the foreground, the peninsula of the Berkeley Waterfront, and a body of water between the peninsula and the mainland. My first kite aerial photographs were taken from the hill in the middle of the photograph. That was almost three years and over 7,000 images ago.

Oblique views of the Berkeley Waterfront during a relatively-rare day of offshore winds (27K jpg left and 33K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, November 1997).

These scenes provide a sense of the lay of the land down at the waterfront. As many of you know, the park was created by capping a landfill site from the earlier part of the century. It is, in essence, made land composed of garbage and rubble.

A late-day view of the waterfront with the sun directly at the camera's back (49K jpg each, Canon 24-mm, November 1997).

Views from a park in the Port of Oakland (22K jpg left and 25K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, November 1997).

Here we have a couple of cloudy day shots taken at the end of Seventh Street in Oakland the day after the Berkeley shots. This very industrial setting has a nicely appointed park and playground for young children. I was looking around the Port of Oakland and wishing for some sun. An hour later my wishes were granted as shown on the next page.

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