Kite Photography at the Beach

Edisto Beach from the AirWe got back recently from a much-needed but too-short trip to Edisto Beach, SC. Most of the time was spent doing a whole lot of nothing, but I did take a little time to try some poor-man’s kite photography.

Kite aerial photography is the art/science of flying a kite, attaching a camera to the line, and taking pictures from up high. I first learned of this hobby when I found some kite photos of a lighthouse I’d visited.

Charles Benton is one of the authorities in the hobby, and has a great website. With big kites, good cameras, and radio control equipment, you can get some excellent images.

Due to lack of time more than anything, I’ve gone the cheap route. My kite is an 8 sq. ft. flow-form, which needs a lot of wind to hoist anything. I usually just dangle a digital camera from the kite, set the built-in timer, and run like crazy to get some altitude before the picture is taken. My images are usually not level and often blurry, but sometimes you get a nice shot. Here’s a link to my small image gallery.

I used my Canon G1 to take the latest images. It was nice to be able to manually set the aperture and shutter speed, but I really wish that I could set some custom mode where I could say “take an image every 30 seconds” instead of having to set the timer and have only 10 seconds to run it up every time.