Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

A Village on the Vienne River
St. Martin, France

These shots were an interesting experience because I never actually visited St. Martin nor could I get a good sense of the village as I battled the Sutton 30 from my sandbar flying site across the river.  (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

While flying from a sandbar across the Vienne River I spooled out enough line to take the kite almost across the river. From my flying location I could see a village on the opposite banks with low buildings lining the banks. Turns out the village in named St. Martins and the photographs revealed a fine, tidy townscape. 

Views of St. Martins from a relatively high vantage point (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

While I did not form strong impressions of St. Martin during this session I do have vivid memories of the kite flying. More often than not these days I am flying single-handed have developed an efficient routine that involves temporarily tying the kiteline off to a handy object (e.g., tree, lamppost, bench) with a climber's strap, a carbineer, and a quick clove hitch. Employing these temporary anchors My sandbar location thwarted this technique due to an absence of potential anchors. Normally, this would not be a problem as I would just hold the kiteline reel manually. As the Sutton 30 was aloft for this particular roll the wind increased dramatically. Pretty soon I was in a bit of a pickle.

More views of the handsome village of St. Martin (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

Over a ten minute period my attention turned from composing images to wrestling the kite to wondering if I would be able to get the rig down intact. When the kite really loads up I have the habit of taking a turn or two of line around my hand to avoid the kiteline reel slipping from my hand. When my hand starts to hurt it is time to get the kite down. In this case I abandoned the transmitter in the sand and laboriously pulled the kite up the sandbar to the edge of the woods. There I found a stout sapling and with great relief managed to tie things off. And it was a good thing too since I was approaching the limit of my capacity to handle the kite manually.  

With the kite anchored I pulled out my split pulley (another bit of climbing gear) and began to walk the line down. I was a great relief to get the camera to the ground and after it the kite. I am now up to around five hundred aerial rolls of film without losing or even damaging a camera. This session provided one of my closer calls. 

Photographs taken from approximately the same location showing views down the Loire toward the west and up the Vienne toward the east. Just visible in the left image is the Chateau de Montsoreau which was undergoing reconstruction in 2000 (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

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