Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Sports Stadia
University of California, Berkeley

harmon6b.gif (39208 bytes)The Rites of Spring continue -- a groundskeeper loads a hopper in preparation for fertilizing the CAL varsity baseball field  (26K jpg, Canon 24-mm, March 1998).

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One of my longterm projects is photographing the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. It turns out that the school's athletic fields provide an accommodating place to launch and retrieve my kites. Consequently, I have now a folder with quite a few shots of CAL's sporting grounds, most often when they are empty.  The next few gallery pages will contain images from CAL and its immediate surrounds.  By and large, I think of them as modest images that would mostly interest those with experience of the campus.

stadium05.GIF (46026 bytes)stadium04.GIF (42540 bytes)Shots of CAL's Memorial Stadium, the setting for PAC 10 football games (40K jpg left and 36K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, December 1997).

I have long admired a fine KAP shot by Craig Wilson showing a packed football stadium in Wisconsin. The image features a plan view of the edge of an occupied stadium.  The stands are filled with a dense matrix  of sports fans all intent on the playing field which is out of view. It would be very difficult to get a similar shot of CAL's Memorial Stadium due to terrain and wind conditions.  The stadium is sited at the entrance of Strawberry Canyon (right on top of the Hayward Fault) and the prevailing westerly winds come from a densely built area on its downhill side.

I took these images on one of our rare days with an easterly wind.  The wind was coming over the 1,500 foot high Berkeley ridgeline and down Strawberry Canyon.  This made for turbulent and gusty conditions.  I would not fly over a crowd in anything but the most stable of winds.  Anyway it did give me an opportunity to shoot the empty stadium  - a setting that is reasonably photogenic.

stadium01.GIF (37031 bytes)stadium02.GIF (47637 bytes)

A fisheye view of the stadium and an image of your author packing the stands (30K jpg, Canon 15-mm left and 46K jpg, Canon 24-mm right, December 1997).

The kite was moving around a great deal during these shots, sweeping through 45 degrees of the compass in just a few seconds.At one point I became convinced that this constant wandering did not compromise the rig's ability to stay aloft and I tied it off to a railing.  This allowed me to place myself below the camera rig. I think I should leave the kite tethered more often and roam a bit as I compose. 

ucwest5.gif (38944 bytes)ucwest3.gif (44112 bytes)The CAL track stadium, located in the southwest corner of campus adjacent to Oxford Street (30K jpg left and 40K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, November 1997).

The track stadium is tucked into the southwest corner of campus and provides a fine place to fly a kite.  One of these days I am going to catch the CAL Marching Band as they practice here.  In the meantime, here are a few shots of the area.

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