Kite Aerial Photography

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I have been interested in Kite Aerial Photography for some time and visited sites like Charles Benton's with awe and admiraration.  I have also looked at the sort of sophisticated radio controlled rigs that are used and thought that I would like to try something simpler before making an expensive investment.  So I looked around the net and found this wonderful NASA education site http://education.ssc.nasa.gov/crsp-wdet/education/kap.htm which has complete instructions for building a kite aerial photography rig using a one-time use camera.

Kite Aerial Photography Rig

My home-made KAP rig. Click for a closer look.

I used the basic idea of the NASA rig, but adapted it somewhat to use stuff that I had in the garage.  My version uses 4mm MDF (medium density fibre-board) instead of balsa wood.  The metal fittings and the aluminum strip I obtained from B&Q.  For UK visitors, the KSB de-thermalising timer which activates the shutter is obtainable from Free Flight Supplies or your local model aircraft shop. The camera is a standard Kodak Ultra.  The flash is surprisingly useful for signaling when the shutter fires (and it doesn't alter the exposure)!.

My first photographs were taken at the Portsmouth International Kite festival, with the kap rig suspended from my Stretch Tucker parafoil (see it here).   Below are a gallery of my first pictures.  Click on the pictures to see a larger version.

First KAP photo

My first aerial photography.  I am looking up at the rig through binoculars

Portsmouth Kite Festival

A kite's eye view of the Portsmouth Kite Festival August 2000

Portsmouth Kite Festival

Almost looking over the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

Chiltern Hills

A view of the Chilterns from above West Wycombe

 

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