Kite Aerial Photography
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.
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.
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.
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.