Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

A Medieval Townscape (cont.)
Chinon, France


A ground level view of Chinon's crooked streets and a  shot taken with the sun at the camera's back (Canon S100 Digital Elph and Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

It occurs to me that there was a time when I would never have launched a kite from that footbridge in Chinon nor flown a camera above such a dense townscape. Yet, the confidence gained from hundreds of hours of kite flying and watching the camera cradle aloft under a myriad of wind conditions pays dividends. One is learning that the kite will talk back to you in flight and that the suspended camera behaves predictably. While the wind was not particularly brisk in Chinon, and thus the lift was modest, it was a soft, steady wind and the rig flew beautifully. There is much to be said for practice.

Closer views of the lane that leads uphill to the chateau (left) and the town's edge relationship with the ridge (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

I carry the 15-mm fisheye lens pretty much everywhere I take my KAP kit but I rarely seem to use it. When I do use it I am always struck by how fun this it is to photograph through this lens. A fisheye with dramatic barrel distortion, the 15-mm 'sees' 180 across the diagonal of the frame. This makes it difficult for the KAP enthusiast to miss a target. On the other hand it is a relatively heavy lens and its curved front element, which cannot accept a filter, is in harm's way while flying with the camera. I am always somewhat relieved to get it down intact.

 

A quartet of fisheye views taken above Chinon, France (Canon 15-mm, July 2000)

Our stay in Chinon was extraordinarily pleasant. We had fine company, gracious hosts, and an interesting project to work on. It turns out that I never got the chance to return to the chateau for additional shots nor was I able to get inside. I had fancied that a kite flown from the ridgeline tower would yield interesting shots. An idea saved for the next visit.

 Another plan view of the edge between town and hillside (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)



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