Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Chateau d'Ussy
Loire Valley, France

During an afternoon of fitful winds I tried to photography the Chateau d' Ussy. This three image montage was about as good as I did in a light wind situation (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

On one of my early days in Chinon I made an outing to photograph the Chateau d'Ussy. The chateau is also called the 'Chateau de la Belle au Bois dormant'  because the romantic white turrets, pointed towers and chimneys inspired Charles Perrault's Sleeping Beauty. The Château d'Ussé was built in 1462 by Jean de Buel as a fortress. The Espinay family, chamberlains to both Louis XI and Charles VIII, bought the château and changed the walls overlooking the main courtyard to Renaissance style with dormer windows and plasters. In the 17th century the north wing was demolished to create palatial terraces. The château is still privately owned.

A view of the Chateau d'Ussy from across the sunflower field. As the winds lapsed a shot the sunflower fields themselves before retrieving the camera (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

Now regretfully I did not yet have my letter of introduction from Yves Dauge, mayor of Chinon, and the docents of our dormant belle proved to be a hard sell. Just as well I thought because the winds were marginal. Still I was tempted by the sunflower fields that stretched along the road from Chateau d'Ussy toward the Loire River. What would it hurt, I thought, to try a roll from the border of these fields? Not a thing as it turned out.

A quartet of shots showing the sunflower fields agjacent to Chateau d'Ussy (Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

Since the winds were light and variable I pulled out the trusty carbon-framed Rokkaku and coaxed it aloft. It flew convincingly enough to try the camera rig and soon my imagination was floating above the sunflower fields along with the camera. Yikes said the mind's eye as it plummeted toward the dense foliage of the sunflowers. Happily a rapid inhauling of line and a wisp of breeze keeps me aloft. The kite flying remained sufficiently intense to keep me away from the chateau so I settle for shooting the agriculture. 

Sunflowers photographed from the ground (left) and from the air. The camera shadow is visible in the right hand image
(Canon Digital Elph left and Canon 24-mm right, July 2000)

After shooting a quick roll I decided it was best not to tempt the fates and I safely retrieved camera and kite. I confess a bit of frustration with the sunflowers. Everywhere I went there were gorgeous fields of sunflowers in full bloom. It made for a handsome landscape. On the three occasions  I paused to photograph the field I was thwarted by the conditions of wind, sunflowers or both. Perhaps later. I posted images of sunflowers taken on the ground on another site.

A view toward tidy vegetable plots on either side of a stream and one final shot of the sunflowers
(Canon 24-mm, July 2000)

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