I’m preparing for a short talk on KAP and I need to get a grip on the options when explaining ‘why KAP?’ to photographers. The table sets out the options but there are aspects of KAP that don’t fit in.
Other big conciderations in favour of KAP (for me) are:
it’s ‘manned’, open and accessible; as with a tethered balloon the operator is usually to be found on the other end of the string.
flight duration: I have flown kites with a camera on for hours, the only linits are the wind and camera batteries (my best camera runs for 2 and a half hours at a time)
simple: the powered microcopter option demands concentration from the operator. FPV control requires your full attention and the environment awareness of the operator can be compromised by this. A kite, once it’s settled, is usually stable enough to allow the flier an ‘eye over the shoulder’ to keep things safe.
silent: I’m preparing a risk assessment for photographing feeding birds in a nature reserve, once the kite is aloft there is no noise.
it’s fun! If I am happy with my kite I’m confident in its limits, where I can put it and what the wind will do with it- I can do more with a kite than almost any other aerial platform becasue its what I want to do. Using a 10m mast, hitching a ride on a balloon are all great ways of getting an aerial view but nothing matches the joy of flying a kite for me.
For most survey work I ‘find a way’ of getting the photos I need but if I can get my kite to do the work I get a satisfaction bonus that is very hard to beat.
There is something about working with the wind that sets the mind free: you must concentrate on respecting and resolving the forces to hand. When the balance is achieved you are truly ‘at one’ with the elements of wind, light and time.