Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Vineyards at Sunset
Chinon, France

A view of Chinon's vineyards as the first day in Chinon came to an end. The right image includes two of the hot air balloons that occasioned the flight (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

Although the first day flight from the Chateau of Chinon had occurred late in the afternoon there was still enough light left for Charlie, Thomas and myself to do a little scouting for future photographs (ah, the long sweet days of summer). We drove into the vineyards on the north side of Chinon and came to quick consensus that the potential photographs were kite worthy. Then out of the north we heard the distinct sound of the propane burners used on hot air balloons. Sure enough there were three hot air balloons headed our way. Even though dinner was waiting we decided to shoot a quick roll.

The fine vineyard topography from around 200 feet aloft (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

Out again came the Rokkaku and we rigged it in quick, practiced movements. I remember this moment distinctly because we operated as an efficient team with the objective of photographing the balloons before they blew past us. They were bearing down fast. Up with the Rokkaku, soon followed by the kite, altitude reached, three shots taken, and the balloons disappeared over the Chinon ridgeline. The sank toward the river with a speed that really surprised me.

The left hand shot, taken earlier in the afternoon while photographing Chinon, shows the chateau with vineyards beyond it to the north.  On the right is an image taken from the vineyards looking toward Chinon. You can get a sense of topography in this photograph as the hill falls way in the upper right to reveal Chinon proper down at river level  (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)
Vineyard textures (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

While the camera was aloft I shot out the remainder of the roll. The low grazing light -- it must have been after 8 pm -- made a fine texture of the vineyards that is not really captured in the scans. The owner of the nice little house that ended up being under the kite came out to grumps at us a bit (his dogs were barking). As is so often the case with KAP encounters the grumpiness became curiosity followed soon by genuine interest. He ended up offering us a bottle of wine and a tour of his aging cellars in Chinon.

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