Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

A Medieval Townscape
Chinon, France




On the left is a view of Chinon from the south side of the river with the Vienne River in the foreground. The Chateau of Chinon is visible on the ridge. On the right is a view with the medieval town of Chinon in the foregroundtaken during a session where I launched the kite from a confined site at the Chateau of Chinon (Canon 24-mm and 15-mm, July 2000)


We arrived in Chinon late in the afternoon and checked into a most pleasant hotel. Chinon is a beautiful little town. The streets have the twisting and turning character associated with urban spaces that evolved before vehicles. The Vienne River provides a major organizing element as does the ridge to the north that parallels it. On the ridge is the Chateau of Chinon, a fortified stronghold that evolved in many different stages. 

We were there to participate in a seminar that brought various academics and artists to bear in documenting the cultural heritage of the Loire Valley. Our efforts would support a recently successful bid to have this section of the valley declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Lon Addison, standing to the right in the image below, of UC Berkeley's Center for Design Visualization served as host. 

A view of the bridge entry to the Chinon Chateau. This was the only place available to launch the kite for the first day's flight so launch we did (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)



After meeting up with others who had arrived for the workshop we mounted a quick excursion to the Chateau of Chinon to see if we could get a kite up. The chateau is an old fortified structure that runs along the ridgeline behind Chinon. It was a light wind day so the ridge seemed our best hope for convective assets. On arrival we found a stone bridge leading to the fortifications which were regrettably locked up. Although the bridge space was rather confined there was a modest breeze shooting the gap created by the ditch it spanned. Out came the Rokkaku - easily the most often flown kite of the trip - an once it was up to 100 feet or so I had good working lift. The camera soon followed to take the shots on this page. It was a most pleasant session.


Views of Chinon to the southeast with the still waters of the Vienne (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)
Views of Chinon and the downstream stretch of the Vienne (Canon 24-mmright and Canon 15-mm left, July 2000)

I shot one roll with the 24-mm lens and followed that with another using the 15-mm fisheye. All told the two rolls took about one hour and then we were packing up for dinner. It felt great to have a couple of rolls done just two hours after arrival.

The textures of Chinon's medieval plan revealed by the grazing light of a setting sun (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)



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