I had grand plans for the Denver KAP exercise. With the wind in the right quarter there is a very nice kite walk possible. The river bank from Denver to Downham is a rare space where a kite can be flown without fear of threat to wildlife or overhead wires for a mile and a half.
After a false start (the first date was a day of rain) I decided to risk the forecast showers and fly between 2 and 4 pm (a slot predicted on MeteoSAT24) and hope for the best. I arrived with the (almost) complete kite and camera collection. In trying to cover all possible conditions it adds up to a fair pile of kit:
|Jones 8′ Rokkaku||2||500m Coramid||Auto pan||Pendulum||Canon Ixus 7|
|DL R8*||Auto pan ‘L’||Picavet||Leica DLux 4|
|Sutton Flowform 30 (Becotised)*||3||250m 50kg Dacron||clickPanPro pan & tilt||Filalu||Canon S95|
|ITW Levitation 9’Delta||250m 50kg Dacron|
|Didak Explorer 2.7||100m Coramid||Auto pan ‘L’||Picavet||Olympus EP1|
|ITW Ultrafoil (Becotised)*||200m Dacron||Gimbal RC||Pendulum||Ricoh GR|
|ITW Levitation 9’Delta ( DS)*||4
|500m 250kg Coramid on 10″ halo||clickPanPro pan & tilt||Picavet||Canon EosM|
|Didak Explorer 16|
|HQ Flowform 2.0|
|HQ KAPfoil 1.6 (x2)||Brooxes RC||Pendulum||Sony Rx1|
|DL Trooper||5||Brooxes clickPanPro pan & tilt||Pendulum||LeicaX1|
The wind was horrible, not a screaming gale but a blocky, bitterly cold North Easterly with rain and hail in it. This stuff had been blowing all week and, despite a Bft 4 kick at times, it was a high pressure feature so prone to fade. My geuss on the windspeed was Bft4. These days Bft 4 means KAPfoil 1.6, it’s a kite that is reliably stable (provided it has a good length of tail) in the rough stuff.
Clouds were high and blue sky visible from time to time. The KAPfoil took off at a low angle and pulled hard, slowly it climbed and began to pull harder still. So hard I reckoned walking with up wind would be a challenge I wasn’t prepared for.
The object of the exercise is an introduction to the idea of a kite as photographic platform and I had no idea how long we had before the next squall came in over the fen. With a kite in the sky, clear of trees I hoped the big sweep of the wind would let a camera work a decent swath, if it was my shoot I would not have not risked it, the walk was off and, given the big swings in wind direction I would not risk more than one kite in the sky. Beyond the tree line the saftey box was a wide strech of water down wind, if things went awry at least the chance of injury was low.
An autoKAP setup is always going to be the best in a crowd so I chose a pan and tilt Canon EosM with focus set to infinity, shutter prioity set to 1/320th and clickPanPro control for the job: reasonable resolution for the height, plenty of variety and failsafe shot to shot reliability. It’s a cheap camera should the worst happen. Things should be ok with a tough kite and a tough camera.
While the camera lurched around above us we discussed the merits of cameras, kites, line, drones and subjects for aerial phtogography. From 200′ up we are the colorful group in the bottom left of the frame..I was considering launching a second camera but I noticed as we chatted away the kite slowly sank as the wind faded and after 499 shots the camaera was recovered…just as the rain began.
The contents of the SD card were a variety of rather poor exposures but, given the situation, a record of the scene below the camera was achieved.
The next OWLP KAP event is scheduled for Manea July 23rd.