Learning the AutoKAP method

“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” Leonardo da Vinci

And so I stand, eyes aching into the grey sky hauling in and paying out line in the hope the rollercoaster of lift /no lift will capture the view from above. On my 2nd attempt I managed to get a light autorig up and stay up. This is a tricky place to fly a kite, the airflow is unpredictable as it hits the cliff of buildings and runnels of streets down wind just beyond the smooth sheltered water in the pool below. I’ve been after some clean shots like this for a good while and 2 things have coincided to get me this far. First is the remarkable ITW Levitation, I’m able to dance it up through the tumbled flow around the trees on Laundress Green into the clean air above and second is the ‘shoot and hope’ autoKAP rig controlled by clickPan-Pro which will let me catch around 20 shots a minute in a 360 ball around the lurching rig without taking my eye off the weaving arrow in the sky.

I’m using the Canon EosM as my autoKAP donkey as it has good resolution for its weight but it lacks image stabilisation so this flight produced more than a few ‘skid mark’ photos. It’s a very solid camera and the shutter release by gentLED is dependable so I hope quantity will make up for the lack of quality. After all I only need one good shot to make the flight worthwhile…and I got two!

AutoKAP nadir shots by clickPan-Pro

This is almost what I have imagined I’d get: abstraction, pattern, texture..and people!

I have noticed shots over water in flat light can work so I thought I’d see what happens when skies are grey but the wind is in the right direction. Almost all the shots except the nadir ones were poor; the vertical view just catches enough reflected light to brighten the scene.

It has taken me far longer than I thought to figure out how to get cP-P to work for me …and I’m still learning. One thing I can say is that it’s worth persisting with. I have been looking at: www.ipernity.com/doc/314251/album/405811 to see just how 2 axis Autokap works in the hands of a master. I’m a long way off that sort of quality but the potential is there.

There have been some surprises along the way: the shots to horizon fail a lot because of the AF/AE response of the camera in the sky is very slow as it swings from nadir up so I have had to adjust the rig for that. Getting panoramic cover and nadir cover from the same sweep is a waste of time: you need to decide which you are going for and set up accordingly, landscape and portrait aspects stitch very differently. None of these things are apparent on the bench: you need to waste hours shooting crap in the sky to discover them!

Living, learning and always walking the earth with my eyes turned skywards.

B

About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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