About

This blog is dun by Bill Blake. The content is all personal opinion.

www.bill-blake.co.uk

5 Responses to About

  1. ron webster says:

    I have a box kite that was with a gibson girl, I bought it at a yard sale any idea what it is worth

    • I’m not too sure about the value of the kite by itself: there are none on ebay at present. I have found a complete radio outfit for sale here:

      http://www.surplussales.com/equipment/HamEquipment/WW2Collect.html

      I expect it might go well on eBay if the condition is good. Common defects are disintegrating fabric, rusting steel staples and bent longerons.

      From a personal point of view I’d be prepared to part with no more than £75 for one (provided the condition is good) as it would cost me about that to build one.

      I’d love to have a go with the rocket launch Conyne though…

      B

  2. Pingback: High in the Sky: Heritage & Landscape photography from above | Ouse Washes: The Heart of the Fens

  3. tim says:

    Hi there,
    I’ve been hunting around online for anything I can find on using kites for photography. I’m going to Egypt, Jordan, Nepal and India later in the year for four months and wanted to take a drone with me, but as luck would have it drones are forbidden in all four countries, even though some people obviously get away with it judging from the many Youtube clips available. I’m not about to blow a wad of money on a Mavic only to have it confiscated!

    Then I thought about kites and using one to take a GoPro aloft – nothing in the literature about those being banned, though of course I wouldn’t want to fly one near an air base! Over the last few hours I’ve slowly pieced together a few bits and pieces and figure I could make it work, though obviously not with the same scope as a drone’s footage.

    The question is, what kind of kite do I take? It obviously has to be a soft one and fairly light so that it can fit in a backpack, but I guess it also has to be one that can perform in as wide a range of wind conditions as possible. My main reason for wanting one along is for video footage while I’m in Nepal, as I’ll be trekking there for 35 days. The winds range from pretty light to blow you off your legs strong at higher altitudes – I’ll be getting well over 5000 meters on a few occasions.

    And do you know if anyone’s gotten as far as being able to send a video feed down so that you can visually see what the camera sees, like a drone? I think I can mount a cheap and lightweight gimbal to it, and with the GoPro 7 having built-in stabilization it should make the footage even smoother.

    So could you possibly offer up any suggestions? I read your blog and figured if anyone could point the way it would be you.

    Thanks…..Tim

    PS – I tried your email but it bounced back

    • 1.Permissions: yes you are more likely to be able to work with a kite than a drone in many circumstances but this is not a given and there have been issues flying in Aman for example: Wind Watcher was shut down there and spent a day with police explaining himself. Height limits will apply and wildlife conservation may restrict flying.

      2.Kites for lifting a GoPro: just about anything will do. If you include the weight of a gimbal, RC receiver, video Tx and a battery to power it is about 500g to lift. There is no one kite that will work across all wind speeds. Optimum for photography is Bft 3 (7-12mph) at sea level. This is altitude dependent: you need to find out the effect of air density to find the optimum wind-speed at your altitude. I’d suggest these 2:

      HQ KAPfoil 1.6

      http://www.kapshop.com/Lifters-Kites/c75_3/p357/KAP-Foil-1.6/product_info.html

      Didak Explorer 2.7

      http://www.kapshop.com/Lifters-Kites/c75_3/p294/Didakites-Explorer-2.7/product_info.html

      As they are stable in most circumstances. I use a heavy gauge line (200DaN) The KAPfoil takes over at Bft 4, the Explorer at Bft3.

      3.Photography/videography: Tracking or following a subject by camera movement doesn’t work: what works with a kite is very different to a drone: the kite is virtually fixed in place so movement must come from the subject NOT the camera. Consider stills and stitched panoramas as well as video. A video link to ground is a big help but needs practice to be effective.

      4.Rig: best example I know is: https://www.flickr.com/photos/skysnaps99/43680613585/in/dateposted/

      there is more detail on this here:

      http://research-benton.ced.berkeley.edu/discuss2/index.php?p=/discussion/5704/building-a-gimbal-kap-rig/p1

      5.Practice before you travel. KAP is fun and rewarding but you have to put the hours in to be confident in getting the camera where you want it and discover what kind of subject works. KAP is a photographically restrictive discipline.

      B

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