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Kite Aerial Photography
One minute summary...

Interested but don't have lots of time?
The one minute summary:

Click for higher resolution...Kite aerial Photography (KAP) is about using kites to get aerial pictures from unusual angles - in the space between the ground and where an aeroplane or helicopter would be. Oh yes, one other thing, it's cheaper than a helicopter.

Click for higher resolution...On the left I am launching one of my kites, a Dopero100, with a 3m wingspan. 

A Digital Camera is modified to allow it to be remotely controlled and pointed by setting it in a 'rig'. I have build a number of different rigs, some as light as 50grams, however the 'rig' shown right is for my 5Mpixel camera. Total flying weight is just over 600g.

The 'rig' is a mixture of electronic and mechanical construction, must be perfectly balanced to get a level horizon, and made as light as possible.

Click for higher resolution...The 'rig' is attached to the kite line via a bridle, consisting of cord and pulleys to keep the camera level. On the left I'm doing the final flight checks before kite and camera are allowed to rise into the air.

Click for higher resolution...From the ground the camera can be steered and operated from controls on my waist (see right). A video image of the pictures being taken are displayed on a mini-TV round my neck (see left).

Once airborne the kite is normally untethered from the ground stake and walked about to obtain the best camera angles. 
Click for higher resolution...And here is the result, Blackness Castle, from the same day the shots were taken to explain how it all works!

This page is a brief overview of how it all works, but there is a lot of technique to flying and details about how to build your own 'rig'. This web-site should give you a further insight into KAP, and some hints and tips that I have learned along the way.

Images are all 2004, by James Gentles or if a person is in shot by Peter McCulloch.

All images on this site (unless explicitly stated) are the property of James Gentles under the UK Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988.
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