WWKW (World Wide KAP week) is the week in the year when the worlds Kappers, old and new, record and share their environs by means of kite lifted camera. The variety of images types is huge, self portraits, beach scenes, shadow portraits, buildings, landscapes, snowscapes, close ups and wide views ..I decided to add to the mix with shots of my neck of the woods.
Monday was paperwork…Tuesday was hide and seek with the sun but, after waiting for the best part of an hour, I got just enough light for this shot, I’d framed many better ones ……but this was the one the weather wanted me to have. Keeping the rig in place as the wind (the ‘light variable’ kind) weakened and strengthened was trying, one moment up to my knees in spilled line the next untangling and paying it out as smoothly as my gloves would let me. All the while keeping an eye over my shoulder for the tiny patches of blue creeping slowly across the sky in the hope that cracks in the cloud would leak light to the ground. This was not going to be an autoKAP session, the cloud gaps were very short and I wanted to be sure I’d make the best of them when they came.By the time I gave up waiting for the sun the wind decided to take hold of the kite and not let me have it back without a fight. I tied off to a handy bench and a series of walk downs later it was back to the paperwork.
kite flying at the best of times is a fickle business.Working around even a modest spire like this one requires concentration to avoid snagging the line and the consequent nightmare of recovery of kite and rig.
I fly as often as I can but flying to order makes me nervous; I like to feel I can walk away if I need to: this week I’m determined to contibute to the celebration that is WWKW, so I stretched my patience a little longer to get my shot.
Wednesday…strong sunlight but very little wind…an AutoKAP oportunity! I had to pack up as things were getting intresting at the Devils Dyke and the wind continued to pick up just enough in the evening to catch Cambridge at play:
I have had several attempts to catch BMX action here, none close to what I want and this effort is no exception. The limits of AutoKAP are a tad dissapointing, it might be a light weight option but you can’t track and frame shots, even so the texture of the track has come out well.
Thursady was another ‘light variable’ day and with no sign of the wind getting stronger I thought I’d see If I could avoid the Schollars Court vortex……with the kite rising , falling and topping I reckon this was a lucky shot.
Friday broke fine and still, the forecast promised a max of 7 mph wind-speed, perfect rok weather! I set off to the high ground to the East of the City. I loaded the bike with line, kite, 2 cameras and, for fun, took a GPS track of my route….
My ‘anabasis’ out of Cambridge came to an end when my path was blocked by the railway line just south of Wilbraham so I let this be my KAP site for the day. A good subject lay before me: the Cambridge- Newmarket line, the sun was on, the wind was…gone!
The movements on this line are half an hour apart so I figured I could spend a little time setting up the shot, the wind was weak so I kept well clear of the railway, allowing the full length of line to fall clear of the tack should the worst happen. Gradually the kite rose more than it fell but, when the first train passed, the rig was on the ground and the kite dropping fast. I spent the next half hour gently edging the rig off the floor until the line stiffened and I had a good 60m of elevation. Now to frame my shot and wait for the all important traffic ..dum te dum…after 10 mins the video link packed up, bah! Maybe I could guess? I checked my watch..there was 5 mins before the next train- just time to haul down the rig and change the battery. With a fresh battery on the rig I was gently letting the kite climb …as the train passed by..pah- missed it again!
Surely I couldn’t miss the next one! I let out a great deal of line to find the lift I needed…the line bit hard and Iwas able to take a good look down the line for the approaching train: ..and I realise I’m at the junction of the old Chesterford & Newmarket line, the wind picks up and all the downwind line Ihave paid out leaps upwards just as the train appears. This is a pretty fast stretch of track so a quick pan and burst and I have 3 good frames: Sadly my end to WWKW took me to the funeral of my good friend Clive Hollins who embraced KAP with an enthusiasm that never flagged and was happy with the simple joy of lofting a line into the sky. As an act of rememberance I flew at the wake and was able to show his family and friends something of the fun of thing he loved so well..
…so long Clive