Camera Craniums

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: rksmith51 on July 24, 2011, 04:28:11 PM

Title: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on July 24, 2011, 04:28:11 PM
Do a search on the web for KAP and you may be surprised to see how active this type of photography is. I wondered if anyone here had given it a go, it can be a fairly simple setup or more elaborate with radio control pan, tilt and fire the shutter etc.

I'm just researching on the web at the moment but would like to hear from anyone that has given it a go.
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Cathus on July 24, 2011, 10:52:08 PM
not yet, I like kite flying but not tried this, willing to give it a go, but might need to save up first.
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on July 25, 2011, 11:54:49 AM
When I add up how much it will cost for the radio, the kite and the special mounting I'm going off the idea too. I thought I could save some money buy making the kite myself but the sowing instructions are very complicated and you would have to make a template to cut the aerofoils etc. All that for a few interesting pictures. I don't think I'll be rushing into this one either.

I still fancy getting a big kite though, I'm sure my Grandson would appreciate it  ;D ;D

What kind of kite do you fly Cathus ?
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Cathus on July 25, 2011, 06:01:44 PM
I have  a few sports kites, they're not big, delta wing dual line kites
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: SimonW on July 25, 2011, 11:39:21 PM
A long number of years ago I experimented with a fairly small and very stable single-string kite. I made a "traveller" - a stick with a couple of pulley wheels which ran on the kite string, and a sail to catch the wind and take it up the string. At the top, a stopper on the kite string knocked a wire on the traveller's sail to release it, and the traveller came back down. The idea was to attach a small (35mm film back then) camera with the shutter delay set to 20 seconds or so. Cheap, simple, and never got a decent shot! But you might like to try it.

I'd guess a radio shutter release might be good - lots more shots and probably better control over the height, but pan and tilt control sounds expensive and pointless unless you have a monitor on the ground.

Our Local CC has had two talks from Hawkeye (http://hawkeyescotland.com/) who makes his living from aerial photography - he tried kites and then went to helium balloons - seems a much better idea. (And he did use a monitor on the ground). But I think he's found aircraft even better nowadays.

Simon
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: krennon on July 26, 2011, 09:23:33 AM
My mate flies flexifoils (or at leat he used to hasn't done it for a while but he's still got them) He used to stack three together, then he stuck a small lightweight p&s on it and cobbled together a sort of remote release thing (not sure how he did it) and took a few shots, he did get some interesting shots but of course a lot of them were blurred or out of focus because the kite wasn't stable I reckon the success rate was about 1/15 shots in focus and not blurred.....fun though and years ago I got some great shots of him being lifted off the ground his feet literally 4' off the ground and he's 6' 2" so his head was 10' up in the air awesome shot alas I don't have it anymore (might even have been shot on film???)
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on July 26, 2011, 07:10:33 PM
Wow , sounds like it can be er,,, entertaining  :D . I was outbid on the radio gear on ebay so I'm bidding on another, if I get it cheep enough I'll give it a go but I'm not going to bust the bank to do it.

There are some very clever cradle arrangements to keep the camera steady now, and with digital its not such a pain if the hit rate is low. They say that FlowForm kites " look like a bit of a wing " flown on single string give loads of lift and are very stable, agin fairly expensive at about £60 but hard to sew for me, so I may just have to shell out for it.
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: krennon on July 27, 2011, 08:03:43 AM
Entertaining is not the word, and nope I can't find the photo I took, sorry think I confused things, he put a cheap digital p&s on the kite, I was using either a Kodak digital P&S or possibly a pentax film camera (kind of a bridge camera as had long zoom but not interchangeable lenses). He stacked 3 flexi foils together (kind of like the rectangular parachutes the display teams use) stuck the camera on the middle one and launched it, I was on the ground shooting him flying the kite and occasionally flying himself almost...Got some great shots which is why I am so bummed I can't find the shot...
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on July 28, 2011, 10:49:20 PM
Step one complete, I won a set of radio control gear on eeeebay for a good price. More reading to be done and decide if I should make a rig that holds the camera and control or buy one. Shame you cant find the images I bet that's annoying.
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 18, 2011, 07:55:55 PM
First, I got the name wrong its called Kite  Aerial Photography.

At last the parts arrived and I have put it all together ready to go flying. I have the kite too, a Flowform 16, but before I send the camera up I'm going to fly the kite with a similar weight attached to see how it all flies, pictures soon wind and time allowing.
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Jerry WSL on August 18, 2011, 08:02:00 PM
Look forward to seeing the results!!
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: irv_b on August 18, 2011, 08:10:19 PM
Cool idea Bob, hope it comes off (not literally ;D) and you get some interesting shots!
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Oldboy on August 18, 2011, 09:15:34 PM
Cool idea Bob, hope it comes off (not literally ;D) and you get some interesting shots!

 :2funny: :2funny:
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 19, 2011, 10:24:26 AM
I took the kite down the park this morning but the breeze was too light, better forcast for tomorrow. Another weather dependant hobby  ::)
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Beaux Reflets on August 19, 2011, 11:55:05 AM
A Helium filled balloon on a wire may be safer Bob. I saw one in operation last year at a show. Fully radio controlled it could flown in broad circles while the camera panned and snapped away with the operator seeing the camera's view on a screen beside his controls.

Hope your kit works well  :tup:
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 19, 2011, 03:26:44 PM
A little more wind this afternoon so went down again, the first lesson I have learned is that you cant attach the camera until the kite is strongly flying in constant wind. Up it went almost pulling my arm of at times so I attached the rig and sent it up another 50 feet or so. I have to adjust the camera so that it points a bit higher, mostly all I have is a nice view of the football field but I am in a few so here is one just to prove the method does work, I will get better as time goes by and produce much more interesting shots :Tupi: c'mon wind.
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Graham on August 19, 2011, 05:10:28 PM
  If anyone wants me, I'll be in the shed.
                       Graham. :tup:
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Beaux Reflets on August 19, 2011, 05:32:47 PM
  If anyone wants me, I'll be in the shed.
                       Graham. :tup:

Hey up here comes - rocket man ?  :dance:  :2funny:
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Mick on August 19, 2011, 07:11:33 PM
What a great idea.  :idea:

I used to fly radio controlled planes a few years ago, and still toying with the idea of using a electric powered glider for this sort of stuff.  (electric power to take the plane up, and then switch off the motor, prop folds away when stopped)

Now that cameras are so light and compact these days, this should be really easy to do. 

Bob, does that shutter servo have a limiter (or servo saver) on it, or does it just keep trying to push on the shutter button all the time the stick is moved??   
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 19, 2011, 07:30:04 PM
Hi Mick, the shutter servo is set so that it just presses the button enough to operate it, the trim on the control and the soft rubber tip help protect the camera. I had thought about a Glider as I used to fly 12 foot wing span gliders years ago. I decided the kite was safer as you get it up there and just concentrate on the camera control after that.

Some people have used blimps but its a very expensive way to do it, I'm hoping the wind is there for me tomorrow as I've adjusted the camera so that it looks just below  the horizon when fully up and points down at about 45' when the stick is pushed down, I use the throttle control for that as its not self centering and stays where you point it.

All the best, Bob.
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Mick on August 19, 2011, 07:57:52 PM
Thanks for the reply Bob.

I've never been too good with kites though, lol..  :uglystupid2:

The glider would be the way to go for me.  about a six foot span should do it.  The nice thing about the electric ones is you can turn the power on and launch it by hand, get plenty of height, and then cut the motor.  When you eventually lose height, then switch the motor on again and climb away.

I used to launch mine by hand, and then land it back into my hand.  None of the old bungee to catapult them up.  Also they are pretty quiet, so won't upset anyone.  ;)

The biggest problem for me is I sold all my planes ( four of them complete with flight packs and transmitters) about 10 years ago, because I wasn't using them.  :doh:

Looking forward to seeing the results from your kite cam.  Great stuff.  :tup:
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 20, 2011, 03:55:46 PM
What an adventure  ;), my good wife and I went out with the kite to a local ruin called Crichton Castle. The wind was blowing across a valley so it was a bit turbulent but we got the rig in the air and took a few shots.

After getting a few shots off I decided to get a better shot of the castle we would have to be on the other side, a walk of about half a mile. I lowered the kite a bit and took the camera off the line and started to walk with the kite still about 80feet in the air. There were some trees between us and the castle but I was sure I could manage between them and set off, we I did get past the trees, but as the kite was almost another 30 feet behind me it took a nose dive in a strong gust and pulled the line right through the top of the to the ground  >:( OK I thought, I'll put the line down, untie the kite and pull the line trough, just then the kite shot into the air again, I held on tight and the line ripped back up through the branches and was free  :dance: , I quickly ran along the road to get it past the trees.

As we passed the castle, and as I expected there was some rough air, the kite dashed all over the sky before landing in grass, I wound up the line and carried it past the rough bit. We launched again and took a few more shots but my confidence was a little shaken so decided to pack it all up for today, go home and think about what I had learned and have a look at my shots. 75% blur due to motion as the camera swung 10% with random ground shots 15% with views of the subject at various jaunty angles, well what would you expect from a camera on the end of a bit string on a windy day, I can't wait to get out again  :tup:
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Graham on August 20, 2011, 06:21:36 PM
  Love the second one, I was going to make a comment about "Mad dogs & Englishmen", but then rememberd where your from. :uglystupid2:
  I know nothing about this, so when you say "Kite" is it designed for purpose or just "A Kite". I seem to remember from when I was a nipper (50 odd years ago.) that those square tube shaped thingys* were much more stable in the air.
                   Graham. ???

* Quote from the "Ladybird Book of Geometric Shapes and Stuff."

Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 20, 2011, 10:10:18 PM
Hi Graeme, you have to use a very stable kite, so some have been designed to be " boring " they just sit in the sky or go up and down, well that's the plan. The web is full of stories of how its very hard to get a problem free flight, especially when you are lifting a few pounds of radio and camera. The wind today almost lifted me and I was expecting the kite to explode at one point. My kite is like a small parafoil, like the new sky divers parachute. The ones you see on the beach are steerable with two lines, not mine, its trimmed for stable flight.

It sounds like your a bit interested, beware, the cost is mounting up as I've spent a few hundred pounds now on radio, kite, line, gloves, camera rig. You can do it a lot cheaper but I like all the facilities like pan and tilt etc. I bought bits and bobs at B&Q tonight to make a winding reel £50  :uglystupid2: I almost fell of my wallet.

The leason I learned today was that you have to be much farther away from the subject you want to shoot and you just keep shooting till the card is full as you only have a vague idea of where the camera is pointing by looking at the wee stick that you wind the radio antenna on .
Title: Re: Kite Aided Photography
Post by: Oldboy on August 21, 2011, 09:37:51 AM
  Love the second one, I was going to make a comment about "Mad dogs & Englishmen", but then rememberd where your from. :uglystupid2:
 

 :2funny: :2funny:
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 23, 2011, 09:51:45 PM
A few more from today, we had our granddaughter with us so I was limited to 10 mins flying or so, but loads of attention from the public is a down side  too.
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: Oldboy on August 23, 2011, 10:47:29 PM
When are you going to try it with the D3s!  :P :uglystupid2: :legit:
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: skellum on August 24, 2011, 12:17:40 AM
Some great unusual shots here, I would like to get some arial shots of the lakes one day, Hot Air Baloon flight has been suggested but I know Jinky has been waiting a while for his flight.
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: Hinfrance on August 24, 2011, 05:45:28 AM
Hats off to you Bob, and what a joyous time you must be having too. Look forward to seeing more of the results.
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: ABERS on August 24, 2011, 07:25:19 AM
Must be a great feeling when it all comes together, terrific stuff Bob. :tup:
Must go and have a lay down now and wait for the vertigo to wear off. :o
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 24, 2011, 08:45:56 AM
Thanks guys, yes its very adictive the first thing I check in the morning is the wind direction. One of great things about this is the possibility that you are the first to take a shot from there and capture the view, its most likley there will be nother shot like mine again.

Because it was a rush with the dog and Katherine along I was not able to focus as much on getting the angles I wanted, a few are good and that's true of most shoots of any kind.

I doubt if the D300 or D3s will ever be flown, but never say never  :legit:
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: hevans on August 24, 2011, 10:32:07 AM
Looks like great fun!

Next step: a blue tooth/WiFi enabled camera to send the shots straight down to the ground. I'm guessing that the pointing of the camera and pitch is achieved by guessing what is in the field of view or do you have immediate feedback?

H.
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: Jonathan on August 24, 2011, 11:02:08 AM
Next on your shopping list....a Phottix Hero.  You know it makes sense.

http://www.phottix.com/en/wireless-remotes/phottixr-hero-liveview-wireless-remote.html
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: Graham on August 24, 2011, 05:42:53 PM
Next on your shopping list....a Phottix Hero.  You know it makes sense.

http://www.phottix.com/en/wireless-remotes/phottixr-hero-liveview-wireless-remote.html

    What he just said!  :)
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 29, 2011, 06:28:22 PM
One from my latest outing  ;)
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: Oldboy on August 29, 2011, 11:36:30 PM
Cracking shot and love the colours.  :tup:
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: Hinfrance on August 30, 2011, 08:27:34 AM
Brilliant Bob.

Alas, although I am (or at least was) an avid kite flyer the problem around here is that there is nowhere really suitable to get them airbourne. So my kites sit sadly in the basement waiting for a windy day without turbulence. And there never is one - too many trees, valleys and hills. I think I've only managed to get a dual line kite airborne once since we moved here.
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: irv_b on August 30, 2011, 07:14:16 PM
Yes Bob it is so good to see things from such a different view. I hope you are enjoying doing it as much as we are seeing the results!
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on August 30, 2011, 08:49:39 PM
I'm enjoying it very much Irv, I like flying the kite as much as taking the pictures. Its a shame your air is so bad H, I notice a vast difference when I fly at the coast the air is so much better.  At my home field " the local park " its surrunded by trees and it takes a little time to get the kite through the rough air, once its clear it pulls very strongly and its much safer to put the camera rig on. I have plans for a few more locations  but the family require my time now so I just have to be patient and get out when I can. Thanks for all the positive feedback.
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on September 11, 2011, 12:37:58 PM
Update, I now have a super little camera called a GoPro Hero HD, it has some handy features like built in variable time laps, movie etc etc. I set it up to take an image every 5 secs and so I can forget about the shutter and just fly the kite and change the orientation of the camera rig for different views.

Has anyone heard of Eye-Fi , well I got one of these with the intention of the card sending the images directly to my iPhone, I set it all up and it worked great in the house, but the range is very short and once the camera is in the air its out of range of the phone, the theory was sound but the hardware is not up to the job yet. I'm hoping they may upgrade the firmware on the card and boost the range, I've sent a request to the maker and see on their sight its a popular request.

Bob
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: Hinfrance on September 11, 2011, 01:04:09 PM
Looking forward to seeing the results Bob.

Glad to see that you are virtually single handedly trying to keep the world economy going  :tup:
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: rksmith51 on September 11, 2011, 02:36:31 PM
Well, I don't smoke, don't drink, don't have holidays abroad, so I have to get rewarded some way for my endeavours  ;D
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: Hinfrance on September 11, 2011, 02:52:25 PM
That's just slacking Bob - you need to spend more :)
Title: Re: Kite Aerial Photography
Post by: irv_b on September 11, 2011, 05:21:49 PM
Looking forward to seeing the results Bob.

Glad to see that you are virtually single handedly trying to keep the world economy going  :tup:

Not only that you becoming a real tech head Bob  ;D
I'm  really enjoying the project, so hopefully now you only got the kite to worry about flying, the shots will be even better!