I returned to Earith in better light with 3 kites, 2 weights of line, a careful camera set up and a DSLR as 2nd camera with a choice of taped up 35mm and 10.5mm lenses. I was determined to get good photo-cover of the whole site and see if I could improve on the results of the previous flight.
First I decided to make the most of my lightest set-up lifted by a 2.0 m2 flowform to match the wind speed, I used a light (150 DaN dacron) line in the hope I’d save weight and get the most height in the shortest distance.
The wind direction carried the camera diagonally across the subject making framing awkward and I soon found the coverage in each frame, even at 60m elevation was a bit limited this is the width of a typical ’35mm’ X1 shot:
The light line was very taut and I could feel a lot of vibration, despite being rated at 150DaN it didn’t feel happy to me and having gained some confidence in the wind strength I hauled down the compact rig and discovered my light line was close to failure! The lesson here is that although a light line shortens the down wind distance (it steepens the flying angle of the kite by dint of less drag) there is always a risk:I always check the line by feel as I pay it out but I cannot be certain as to when the damage occured, I had used a winch to recover the kite on the pevious flight with this line, maybe it had snagged passing through?
I switched to the much heavier 250DaN line and attached the DSLR: it was too heavy to fly. I swapped the 2m2 HQ kite for a 2.7m2 Sutton Flowform, the bigger surface area was going to need the heavy line to balance it and the extra power was enough to do the job. I began with a 35mm ‘prime’ lens and quickly found the coverage from 60m AGL was poor:
10.5mm DSLRshots got me good cover but of course at the cost of resolution:
and a mosaic of 3 of these (de-fished) got me the nadir plan:Comparison with the previous montage shows a difference in resolution: The biggest difference is in the lighting of the shadows, the softer light (which caused me greif with exposures on the 1st effort, left) has held up the ditch detail better than the stronger light on the right. Using fewer images from the wide angle lens makes the stitch (once the spherical projection is dealt with) easier and the stronger light has helped the sharpness.
So the conclusion is: persitance pays!
I have now got a good result from the DSLR set up, will avoid the light dacron line in favour of the coramid in winds above 5mph and the wierdness of the 10.5mm lens is worth putting up with if I can get good overlap with the subject in the centre of the ‘ball’
Merry Christmas to all!