Kite Photography

Some Typical Images

Kite photography enthusiasts set out to capture interesting or historic scenes from the air. Maybe an unusual landscape with features that can only be seen from the air. Perhaps a famous castle or an interesting modern building complex.

With a light enough camera, you could even use a home-made kite like the Dowel Rokkaku or other kites in those eBooks over there on the right.

Web-surfing for aerial photos one day, one photograph really caught my eye...

It was an air-to-air shot of a big flow-form kite at a kite festival. The flying kite takes up most of the frame, with the beach and ant-like crowd far below. This is a reversal of the usual 'people on the sand, with kites far away in the sky'!

The book Saltscapes: The Kite Aerial Photography of Cris Benton on Amazon shows how great photography can be performed from the vantage point of a flying kite. The reviewers loved this book!




Kite Photography - looking down...

Looking around at some KAP images on the web, I found that many hobbyists have a fascination with photographing themselves from the kite while it is still very low!



An interesting circular building, seen from the air.

Another quite common class of shot is the architectural view. Nice buildings from unusual angles in other words! Or perhaps spectacular buildings, extremely old buildings, buildings in magnificent settings. And so on. Aerial photography using kites is open to a lot of creativity.


Others are even more creative and try hard to make artistic statements with their best pictures. For example, a collection of brightly colored sailing boat sails on the beach, with the boats themselves largely hidden. Sometimes, fish-eye lenses are used to good effect, and filters can completely alter the tone of the scene. The artistry can be more important than the subject matter, in some cases.

Talking about boats, here's an interesting aerial shot of hulls from an unusual angle...

An artistic example of kite photography, featuring upturned hulls of boats and tree shadows

Photo courtesy of G. F.





Digital cameras are widely used in aerial photography using kites. In fact, their use in KAP has pretty much stayed in step with their popularity with the general public. Initially, the cheaper cameras just couldn't take a decent picture compared to a 35mm film camera. As we all know, that is not the case now! A large and growing number of people world-wide are enthusiastically snapping digital pictures.

You might have noticed that this site has a monthly newsletter...

For single-line kite fliers and builders, it's always been a good read. But if you are interested in KAP and/or large home-made kites you won't want to miss it!

So sign up today, and download the free 95-page e-book "What Kite Is That?" straight away. Info-packed and fully photo-illustrated.

And there are even more free resources, such as a kite-making e-course, waiting for you in the next issue of this newsletter.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Carbon Diamond High Wind Experiment

    Sep 23, 14 01:22 AM

    This day's flying had been anticipated for at least a couple of weeks. A 'drag bucket' added to the tail end of the 2m (7ft) span Carbon and Tyvek Diamond was an attempt to raise the upper limit on the flyable wind speed for the kite. From earlier experiences it seems the unmodified Diamond becomes unstable at around 30 kph.

    The first flight was done with the drag bucket adjusted for fairly minimal effect. As half expected, the kite soon started to fly way over to the left and right. So, the wind speed up there must be at least 30kph! This was down at Brighton Beach, but all thoughts of doing KAP soon evaporated, due to the high wind speed. Not to mention the turbulence coming from some high buildings directly upwind.

    For a second attempt, the Velcro fastener was re-adjusted to considerably open up the intake of the bucket. The bucket being two Tyvek flaps which come together over the tail-most region of the sail. This had an immediate effect. More stability! Unfortunately, the extra drag also helped keep the kite at a lowish line angle in some of the fiercer gusts. Lots of line tension ensued, with a huge amount of distortion apparent in the sail.

    At this rate, something was going to break pretty soon, so I struggled to get the kite down to the sand. After shifting the towing point forward by about 3cm (1") the kite seemed a little more comfortable. When the sail of a Diamond distorts badly, it reduces the amount of effective area below the towing point. This is like shifting the towing point back - adding to the problems of too much wind!

    And then the inevitable happened. The already broken-and-repaired horizontal ferrule gave way and the kite promptly folded up and sank to the sand. But not before I had carefully observed every second of the kite's struggles, trying to learn more about Diamond kite behavior in high winds.

    Just an hour after arriving home, the weather station at the nearby airport was reporting gusts to 50kph! It was less further down the coast, but I suspect the Carbon Diamond felt the brunt of around 40kph for at least a few seconds at a time.

    "Simplest Dowel Kites": A free but very useful kite-making e-book. Make a super-simple Sled, Diamond and Delta - step-by-step with photos. Sign up for the e-book and get an emailed series of messages called "MBK Tips'n'Ideas". If you don't need the e-book, consider signing up anyway... You won't believe the value on offer in that message series!

    Read More





New! Comments

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