Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

North Shore of Oahu
The Ocean's Edge

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The boys enjoying yet another four-hour session in the shore break at Waimea Bay   (31K jpg left and 34K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, June 1999).

It turns out that our stay in Oahu was graced by atypical wind and surf. By our third day the trade winds had been replaced with a fitful, intermittent breeze and the normally placid waters near shore were animated by an unusually large summer swell. The kids loved the larger surf while the light, variable winds provided persistent kite flying challenges.

A plan view of the shoreline near Sunset Beach (31K jpg, Canon 24-mm, June 1999).

I've been taking my surf images for several years now and can report that they still intrigue. This shot provides a case in point. The camera is flying at around 100 feet altitude facing straight down. It captures a small strand of Sunset Beach showing (from bottom to top) wet sand, the water's turbulent edge, clear green water over a rippled sand bottom, and a dark rock bottom. These layers are complemented by a nice sun glint on the water's surface (in the upper left corner). I've been using the image as my Windows NT screen background for a week or so and the shot has really grown on me. I suspect that some portion of its appeal can be traced to my upbringing in Georgia. There the ocean is a murky, brown fluid and my long youthful exposure to its turbidity has engendered a fascination for clear ocean waters.

A quartet of Hawaii surf images: In the upper left (28K jpg) a surfboard lends scale under a light overcast. The upper right (33K jpg) has interesting 'boils' of entrained air and sand. The lower right (42K jpg) provides a lower view of a volcanic rock shoreline with eroded fissures (Canon 24-mm, June 1999).

Taking these images was more dramatic than one might think. The consistently shift winds could cause the camera rig to suddenly lose 50% or more of its altitude. One several occasions I faced the possibility of dropping the camera cradle summarily into the ocean. When the winds were blowing offshore turbulence from an inland bluff added to the flying challenge.

A view looking opposite the sun from a position out over the water  (25K jpg, Canon 24-mm, June 1999).

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