Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

The Ford Motor Company Assembly Building
Richmond, California

A view of the High-Bay Craneway from the east  (Canon 24-mm, December 2000)

During what well may become known as my quiescent period I went for months at a time without touching a kite. In December 2000, son Charlie performed the fine service of requiring a ride out to his sailboat in Richmond. Given that he needed a ride home only an hour or two later I decided to kill some time by checking out how the Albert Kahn Ford Plant was getting along. I can report that while the building is much the same the landscape immediately surrounding it has changed rapidly. The scruffy lot to the east of the derelict factory has been cleared, leveled, and prepared (I believe) for construction. 

On this particular occasion there was a gentle offshore wind out of the north at around 6 mph. I tried the Sutton 30 for ten minutes or so and it simply was not up to the task of lifting the camera rig. So, out came the Sutton 60 to provide more lifting power. The Sutton 60 has always seemed to be a more finicky flying kite than its smaller brethren, and the finickiness seems more prone toward the lower wind ranges. Specifically, I have notices a tendency for the outboard cells of the kite to collapse because the leading edge openings for those cells collapse. But, I didn't have a framed kite with me and I really wanted to get a camera up. 

A quartet of views showing the old plant in the low light of winter.  Upper left shows the entire stretch of the building with its sawtooth roof over the assembly floors. Upper right is a lower view of the Craneway taken when a lapse in the wind lowered the camera. On the lower left you can see the Boilerhouse and the cool light of winter shadows. (Canon 24-mm, December 2000)

So, there I was flying a finicky kite in low winds over water after a three-month hiatus in kite flying. As it turns out the kite flew well -- thank you Air Affairs (maker of the kite). On occasion it would lose altitude as the wind waned but the site offered ample opportunity for me to "make wind" by backing up. Thus I took my desired roll of film and closed the year on a high note.

The day provided a fitful breeze from the north and this allowed flights over the SF Bay waters. Somewhere in the back of my head I kept hearing the suggestion of a 'kerplunk'. (Canon 24-mm, December 2000)

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