Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

North Shore of Oahu
Vacation Rentals

As explained earlier, our trip to Oahu was enabled by a bartering arrangement in which I agreed to take photographs of several vacation rental houses in return for a week's accommodation in one of them. This was new territory for me. I have generally avoided shooting images on commission for a couple of reasons. For one there is some tension in getting the conditions of light, wind, and subject to align favorably under time constraints. It is one thing to take kite aerial photographs as a serendipitous adventure of opportunity and quite another to acquire images of a specific subject at a specific time. So this would be a test of KAP performance on demand. I am also quite protective of KAP as a hobby and am diligent in my intent that it does not become another job. I have several jobs already. So Richard Sterman's barter offer allowed me to test a middle ground and I think the experience turned out well for both of us.

Photographs of David Wall's house taken from a distance. This property, situated on a small rocky point, was clearly going to be the most photogenic of the dozen or so Richard Sterman nominated for photographs. Unfortunately, I was thrown off the property before I could take images from a close range. Thus the images, while quite nice, are more distant than I had planned. My impression was that the owner, David Wall, is to cordiality what professional wrestling is to sportsmanship. In four years of taking kite photographs I have been asked to move along on several occasions so Wall's request wasn't unusual. His rudeness, however, set a record (37K jpg left and 39K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, June 1999).

When I arrived in Oahu I took a quick roll of aerial images of the Osser's house as examples to talk about with Richard. By our meeting on the first morning these photographs were developed and we could discuss an approach. It turns out that Richard wanted three basic types of shots: 1) images of the house itself, 2) images showing the house with beach context, and 3) images describing the adjacent beach (the "walking down the beach" shot.) 

Images typical of the KAP shots I took to show Richard's beach-front rentals. It turns out that the steepness of the beach and vegetation combine to make the equivalent ground shots quite difficult.  (41K jpg left and 44K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, June 1999).

I settled into a pattern of playing during the day then "going to work" around four in the afternoon. Typically, one person from the assistant pool (Charlie, Thomas, or Claudia) would accompany me on a two to three hour excursion to photograph a couple of the vacation houses. This strategy worked quite well and by the end of five days I had covered the properties that Richard had requested. Each day I would drop 4x6 machine prints off at Richard's office so that he could select the specific images that he would like to use as fodder for brochures, WWW pages, and gifts.

Category two: photographs showing rental houses with the context of their beach (28K jpg left and 30K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, June 1999).

In the end I think I produced a relatively useful set of images for Richard and he seemed happy enough with them. I survived a week of challenging winds and got the job done. This trip to Hawaii was an early test of a vague notion I've harbored for awhile -- that during retirement I might barter kite photography for accommodations in exotic places. So far so good. 

And finally an example of category three, the "walking down the beach" shot  (32K jpg, Canon 24-mm, June 1999).

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