Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery
Gratuitous ground-level images
of ornamental grasses under trial at Goldsmith Seeds. I so rarely get to include telephoto
images in this site that I could not resist the opportunity. Besides, ground level shots
are quite representative of my experience at Goldsmiths (see story, 32K jpg left and
30K jpg right, Canon 80-200-mm, July 1998).
One day in the summer of 1998, I was driving down to visit with Brooks Leffler and I came across an entertaining place. I'd chosen an inland route southward and just after turning off Highway 101 in Gilroy I passed what looked like a horticultural nursery but one with a peculiar twist. Where a normal nursery would have large sections of relatively few plant types, this setting had large areas planted with hardly two meters of plant row remaining the same. What a sight! Since I was running late at the time I could not stop. Instead, I immediately added it to my KAP candidate list.
An overview of the Goldsmith Seeds site -- on the right you can see experimental beds to the right and bottom with greenhouses to the left and top. The righthand image provides a close-up of one greenhouse complex (39K jpg left and 26K jpg right, Canon 15-mm, July 1998).
It turns out that I had stumbled across Goldsmith Seeds' Research Station. When I arrived in Pacific Grove, Brooks told me that he had been planning to shoot this site too. I looked up Goldsmith Seeds on the internet during the next week and it impressed me as a pretty remarkable operation. The location I'd stumbled across was apparently the site where the flower seed company started as a family-owned business in the 1960s. Goldsmith Seeds, still privately-owned, has since grown to a 4,000 person company. The Gilroy site is now home to their research and development branch.
Brooks and I agreed to meet at Goldsmith at some point in the future and shoot it together. Turns out we were never able to set a mutually convenient time but we have each shot rolls of the farm independently. In fact, I have made the two-hour trip to Gilroy five times now and I have only been able to photograph from the air once. The winds haven't been particularly kind in that regard - details on the next page.
Closer views of the flower test beds -- on the left is a bed growing wild after evaluations were finished while the righthand image shows an orderly, youthful bed on the rise (41K jpg left and 38K jpg right, Canon 24-mm, July 1998).
These shots were taken on my first photographic expedition to Goldsmith Seeds. The winds were variable and for a couple of hours I could not even fly a kite. Then I managed to get the carbon-framed Rok aloft and eventually the Canon rig followed it.
On the left is a fisheye view of one test bed. The righthand images shows a section of experimental peonies with peony expert Dr. Todd Perkins walking among his progeny (32K jpg each, Canon 15-mm left and Canon 24-mm right, July 1998).
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