Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Gilroy, California
Goldsmith Seeds

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).

[ Home Page | Background | Equipment | Gallery | Maps | Discussion | Others | Search | What's New ]

Comments to author: . All content, graphics and
images contained throughout are Copyright (C) 1995 - 2005 by Charles C. Benton
and are protected by United States and International copyright laws.
No text, graphic or image may be used whole or in part, individually,
or as part of a derivative work without express written permission.

All rights reserved. Revised: Saturday, June 26, 2010