Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

The Port of Oakland
Oakland, Berkeley

portoak04.GIF (46431 bytes)A flatcar hanging out on the railroad tracks in the Port of Oakland.  I'm draw to edges of this sort --  parallel rows of truck lane, rails, rip-rap, and waterline defining the divide between land and bay (47K jpg, Canon 24-mm, March 1998).

go to location mapSeveral times over the last few months I have taken one of the kids and explored the Port of Oakland.  This is a place we drive by almost daily but until recently had never visited.  The port has, as one might expect, an industrial flavor.  It is arranged with purpose and bustles with the movement of shipping containers by truck and special devices.  I took these shots during the week of my Spring Break.  This was a midday solo trip to the port, an exception  my general rule of taking photographs toward the edge of the day. 
I launched the Sutton 30 in a small park (extreme left in image below) near the end of the peninsula containing the port and then walked the kite down the road (along the railroad tracks) until I was closer to the HYUNDAI shipping yard.  During previous trips I have been drawn to the stacks of containers that line this yard and the suggestions of process represented in the painted pavement zones.

portoak01.GIF (35242 bytes)A northwestward view from the Port of Oakland toward San Francisco.  The water is a low contrast green as happens in our stormy periods.  A rare cumulus cloud is providing a shower over toward Mt. Tamalpais. In the attached jpg you can see the Bay Bridge and The City.   Yerba Buena Island in near dead center of the image. (28K jpg, Canon 24-mm, March 1998).

As I took these photographs a small front with rain producing cumulus clouds was approaching from the north. I had to keep a weather eye out for its approach.  Once before I had a kite up when a little squall line approached and it was very difficult to get the kite down.  This time the weather approached slowly and I was able to finish two rolls before the clouds closed in.  The aerial shots below show one shipyard from heights of 150 to 300 feet.  If I could only gain access to the compounds I could get some really interesting shots

rainbow.gif (48826 bytes)This east-facing, ground-level fisheye image shows the showers after they passed through my area.  The kite was safely down before it rained.  I almost caught the entire double rainbow but moved a little too slowly.  The containers stacked in the background are prominent in the aerial views below. (48K jpg, Canon 15-mm, March 1998).

portoak07.GIF (42175 bytes)portoak08.GIF (40279 bytes)Images of the HYUNDAI shipping yard.  This is where trucks and large ships meet for rapid and ritualistic courtship (41K jpg left and 38K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, March 1998).

portoak03.GIF (43055 bytes)portoak02.GIF (42965 bytes)Views of the stacked containers (36K jpg left and 38K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, March 1998).

As I was working my way back to my launching spot I passed a small compound belonging to a tugboat company.  Folks there had been standing outside watching my work so I decided to go inside to see if I could take a few shots.  Walking around with the kite in this manner is like walking the dog: you have to lead around obstacles and it sometimes has a mind of its own.  The tugboat people were friendly and invited me to shoot as much as I liked.  Two of the resulting shots are shown below.

portoak06.GIF (40373 bytes)portoak05.GIF (42483 bytes)Plan views of the working yard of a tugboat company  (41K jpg left and 36K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, March 1998).

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