Kite Photography

by Hadley Stern

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I've always wanted to do this. Take a kite, strap a camera on it, and snap away. I'm fascinated by aerial photography and have gone up a few times in Cessnas (with someone else flying of course!!). The problem is, wuss that I am, I always get sick. Another photographer who is also a pilot told me that it is because, when looking through the lens, your brain thinks you are at a certain altitude when in reality you are much higher. Hence the sickness.

Either way kite photography seems like a perfect way to create beautiful aerial imagery without a plane.

If one was really fancy, and the kite wasn't flying too high, I suppose you could create a networkable kite of some kind. Connect a digital camera to some kind of wireless protocol (probably 802.11b/g, bluetooth would let you only put your kite ten feet up in the air!). Have the digital camera's display mirrored on your powerbook so you can preview before you snap. If wireless was too much you could simply create a super long firewire cord and use that.

Anyone game?

Have you ever created a kite-cam?


2004-05-14 07:04:42
more daydreaming :)
What about attaching small repeaters for the wireless LAN on the kite cable every few meters?
Would prevent wire loss in the USB or firewire cable as well as reduce time delay (assuming wireless transmission goes at the speed of light while data through the cable travels at a lower speed the limit of a small packet over long distances is determined by the speed limit of the cable hardware rather than the amount of data).

The D2h (I admit it's a tad expensive and heavy to risk in this) even comes with its own 802.11 network kit as an optional extra.

Personally I don't easily get airsick/seasick, but the cost savings could be substantial.
I'd rather take it one step further and use a remote controlled helicopter.
Safer than a kite for the camera, can carry larger loads and gives more control over when and where to go.
Only problem: they're tightly restricted here and quite expensive.

2004-05-17 18:37:57
Metropolitan Area Networks
A while ago on some airline magazine I read about the idea of attaching wireless repeaters to unmanned aerial vehicles that would cirlce the city providing internet access.

I figure you could do the same thing with cameras. :)

2004-05-18 11:23:03
more daydreaming :)
>I'd rather take it one step further and use a remote controlled helicopter.

Problems with both Kite and helicopter is the vibration, not good for your pictures.

The better solution for low wind areas is a blimp. For $99 someone is offering one on eBay, although range is max 200 feet, but a good way to start and try it out.

Let me know if you try, Mark.