It takes a certain amount of courage to launch a camera into the air towed behind a kite and after my last escape I really felt pretty cowed.

I took my KAP kit over to Belgium on a business trip hoping to get some good aerials of a much loved monument. I failed. I spent nearly 3 hours desperately trying to find a steady airflow in a stop/start Easterly, I thought I could learn the rhythm of the gust and lull but even so I found myself recalling the awful tumbling of my last near escape and held back from letting the rig go…was this fear or wise caution? The opportunity was there: I don’t get to come to this place often and its rarer still to have the time to fly a kite. The light was perfect but the wind kept me working the kite away from tall trees one minute, the fantastic weather vanes and finials of the monument the next and to cap it all the kite topped me on two occasions: is it reasonable to try and take photographs and dance with the kite at the same time?

SNCB looked after me well and back home I began to think I was going down with a case of the ips. Somehow I have to get back on the KAP horse. I watch the wind. By 4 its holding a steady 5-7mph, I grab my kit and head off to open country. The kite is riding aloft in the same airflow as the day before but I have a much more comfortable down wind window to work in. I let out a long lead and the kite holds its place in the sky, I wait for the lull, the kite drops turns a little and holds: this is a stronger airflow. I launch the rig and at a mere 30m AGL I regain my place in the heavens: peace at last.

I’ll get to fly in Belgium again soon and hopefully with a friendlier Southerly wind. I was disapointed not to get the best of the oportunity I thought I had but KAP is thing that continually teaches me a humility all of its own: it’s no go if there’s no blow- no matter how much I want to fly a camera it’s the weather gods that let me.

Easterlies have a mind of their own.

About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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1 Response to Pressure

  1. Jasja Dekker says:

    Reminds me of my trip to Georgia, although I was briefly able to launch the rig there. Curious what monument you are planning to photograph…

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