Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Where the Loire Meets the Vienne
near St. Martin, France

A low-level view of the sandbar at the confluence of the Loire and Vienne rivers. This nice beach had attracted a small midweek group of swimmers and sunbathers. Your author was envious of every single one of them as he struggled to singlehand the KAP gear on a decidedly hot afternoon (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

One assignment during my week at Chinon was documenting the confluence of the Loire and Vienne rivers. I was given quick instructions on how to reach the site, 10 miles downriver from Chinon, and off I went. My brief trip to the confluence evoked memories of my childhood forty years ago on the Ocmulgee River in Georgia. Like the Ocmulgee, the approach to this day's flyng site takes you from a htwo-lane ighway through an old gate and then down a  succession of quaint and increasingly difficult dirt roads (bless rental cars). There is a wonderful richness to the smells and textures associated with bottom land and to the riparian banks they eventually reveal. It is a fecund and changing landscape.

Views up the Loire River on the left and the Vienne River on the right. The left-hand view up the Loire features a nuclear power plant on the horizon near the kiteline. In the (regrettably poor) jpg associated with the right image you can see a shallow sandbar and the waders it supports (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

I arrived on scene around midday and quickly set about getting a kite aloft. I used the Sutton 30 which ran into rather brisk winds aloft and left me struggling a bit with kite management. The sandbar lacked a handy object to anchor the kite so I had to hang onto the reel for the duration. During heavy gusts it became quite the struggle but during the lapses I needed to larger kite to keep everything flying. By the end of this session I was quite grateful to get all the gear down intact. In the views above you can discern the dark brown tannin-like color of the Vienne River in contrast to the lighter and greener shades of the Loire.

Close views of the confluence, The border between dark and light on the left looks like a shadow but is actually the boundary between the dark waters of the Vienne and the greener waters of the Loire. The right-hand shot includes a fishing boat as well. (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

The aerial views provide a look at the slow, turbulent blending of the waters from these two rivers. The boundary between the two seemed to be a favorite location for small fishing boats and what I took to be fish traps. While flying from this sandbar location I also shot a roll of film of St. Martins, a village on the Vienne River's opposite bank. See images from this roll on the next page.

A wider view of the rivers joining. I am borrowing a scanner these days and am not persuading it to make very satisfying images. In general it seems that the lower priced USB scanners are performing poorly for me and my nice SCSI HP IIcx stands idle for lack of a SCSI card (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

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