Tag Archives: Kite Aerial Photography

Fuzzy Tail for Kites | publiclaboratory.org

I’ve been adding knowledge to the Public Lab website.  Go see!

“Kites use tails to help stabilize them in the air, to keep them from swaying too much from side to side. The increased drag as the wind passes over the tail holds the kite in place. Big kites need big tails, and one popular and easy tail to make is a fuzzy tail. The flaps create more drag than a smooth tail so you can use a shorter tail and get tangled less. They are fairly easy to make and can be made out of a number of materials.” Here’s one way to make them:  Fuzzy Tail for Kites | publiclaboratory.org.


Research Logo

I made this graphic over a year ago to help brand my research.  The idea is that it will be placed on research equipment, like the camera housing for my kite aerial photography rig, and on t-shirts to make field work look more official.  It’s remarkably hard to get people to take research on a beach seriously, not that they have to, but it might be nice since it really is important and might some day save their homes if they live in coastal areas.  I haven’t actually used the logo yet on anything, but maybe that’s something I can fix this summer.

I think it’s pretty obvious that it was inspired by the National Parks’ iconography and it has a lot in common with the Robert Tobias Photography Logo I made for my dad.

You’re probably wondering what the four squares mean or why they have the images that they have.  Well, I study plants (seedling square) that live on beaches (dune square) using kite aerial photography (kite and camera squares).  There ya go!

DIY KAP Trash Can Rig in Action | publiclaboratory.org

I’ve been doing some work over at the Public Laboratory site again.  This is a quick video of one of my aerial photography rigs in action.

The YouTube video:


The original post to Public Lab:  Trash Can Rig in Action | publiclaboratory.org.

KAP Flight over Pacifica State Beach, CA | publiclaboratory.org

This weekend I took a field trip with some friends to Pacifica State Beach in Pacifica, CA, to try out the Skyhook 30 Kite in high winds.  At about 30 mph, it lifts the SLR camera and the rig with no problems.  Check out my research note at the Public Lab website:

KAP Flight over Pacifica State Beach, CA | publiclaboratory.org.

Trash Can Rig for Heavy Cameras | publiclaboratory.org

I’ve been doing some work over at the Public Lab website.  Check out some new instructions for a Kite Aerial Photography camera rig that I use with my heavier cameras:

Trash Can Rig for Heavy Cameras | publiclaboratory.org.

Aerial Photography: Dogs!!!

Two dogs try to catch (and presumably eat) my kite and drogue tail.

Of all the hazards you can imagine associated with trying to fly a kite with a camera attached, you probably never thought about dogs.  Yes, dogs.

Flying my kite aerial photography rig over a beach for the first time, a beach that just happens to be called Dog Beach in San Diego, I was confronted with two sporty dogs who found the kite and it’s black drogue tail to be so completely irresistible that they were jumping off the low dunes in an attempt to grab the offending items.  This was all well and good, because I was certain they were never going to be able to get the kite and tail flying 20 feet or so above the ground, until they saw the camera housing which was floundering just a few feet above the ground.  There wasn’t quite enough wind to keep the heavy SLR in the air.

For a few moments, I imagined the camera torn to shreds or my hands bitten as I reeled in line trying to keep the camera off the ground and out of reach.  Fortunately, the dogs’ owner was a very responsible dog owner and was able to get the dogs away from the camera.  I’m not being sarcastic.  He really was quick to try to fix the situation.  I don’t blame the dogs.  Kites are an exciting thing.  And I am very grateful to the owner – he was clearly a caring owner who prides himself on having well trained dogs.  Kites apparently though trump training when you’re a dog.

The camera snapped this shot of one of the dogs who wanted to eat the camera. Mmm... camera.

Aerial Photography: Dog Beach

Last summer I made a trip to San Diego for research and packed my kite aerial photography rig.  I ended up getting some shots over Dog Beach, which turned out to be fairly difficult since the wind was not cooperating.  To get the camera high enough to take usable photos, we ended up putting the kite in the air and then walking down the beach to add enough lift to raise the camera into the air.  The scene you see here captured a homeless man’s campsite situated in the dunes.  There were a few of them there, although no one was at them when the kite was taking photos.