Photos on Kites

by Harry Allen
(New York NY)

Q:

Greetings from NYC!

This spring, I want to make a kite out of a photo enlargement.

Do you know of an ideal photo paper, or other material, to use for this purpose, or of an enlargement service that will blow up an image onto worthy material, several feet high, so that one may make a kite out of it?

Kindest thanks.

A:

I'll ask you a question ;-) Do you know anyone who uses Windows XP or later and has a printer attached to the PC?

I'm sure you do - and would you believe it, it is very simple to print out a multi-page version of any image onto ordinary printer paper.

Just use the Windows Paint program, according to these instructions....


  1. Find and open the image, in Paint.

  2. If using Win Vista or 7, select Print | Page Setup. In Win XP, select File | Page Setup.

  3. In the Scaling box, select Fit To and specify the pages. For example 3 by 3.

  4. Print the image, with All Pages selected.


That's all there is to it. The Paint program scales the image up accordingly, to fit the number of pages requested.

Know anyone who has access to a printer that does larger sizes, at work perhaps? That would work even better, with less sheets required.

Be aware that this process will lower the quality of the image. Simply put, the bigger the image file you start with, the better the final printed image will be. But a small amount of fuzziness in the image will not be visible when the kite is over 100 feet up :-)

Ordinary paper is not ideal for a kite, but it will certainly work, taped edge-to-edge with sticky tape. It will tear easily if dragged over twigs or stones, and of course you can't let it get wet.

Using transparencies would be a tougher but heavier sail for a kite. Not to mention a bit more expensive! Glossy photo paper would improve the image, and possibly the durability, again at a somewhat higher price than ordinary copier paper.

A graphic art service will charge a fortune for a poster-sized image! 3 figures possibly, unless you can sweet-talk you way to an 'at cost' job, after explaining the purpose!

Line art can be transferred to a single large sheet of plastic, using grids and permanent markers - but I think you want the actual image don't you...

Hope this helps!

Comments for Photos on Kites

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Dec 26, 2011
Tyvek
by: Tim Parish

Great suggestion Cliff! And if anyone else wants to make use of the technique for A4 rather than Letter size paper - just cut the Tyvek to 210 × 297 mm.

Dec 26, 2011
Printing Large Pictures
by: Cliff

You can print on a material called TYVEK, a poly/paper type product used to wrap a house under construction. You can cut it into 8 1/2 x 11 sheets and feed it through a printer.

Tape the pieces together to form a large image. The material is rugged and will accept the ink. Tyvek comes in different grades. Use the construction grade (like on a house)

Good luck

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What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Sea-sick Barn Door Kite

    Jul 28, 14 05:06 AM

    This was an experiment with mounting a camera directly onto the kite. With winds gusting to over 30kph up high, the Fresh Wind Barn Door kite was selected...

    In a word, it was tricky. I mounted the camera as close as possible to the center of gravity of the kite, but it still ended up quite a few cm closer to the trailing edge than I would have liked. It was only practical to mount he camera - on its bendy tripod (!) - near the diagonal spars crossing point. Electrical tape secured 2 short tripod legs to the diagonal spars, holding the camera upright with the kite sitting on its trailing edge.

    It was a struggle to get enough lift to gain much height, and the kite swung dangerously from side to side. Might try the drogues next time! I did my best to urge the kite higher in mid-swing.

    Eventually, for a few seconds, the kite got to around 100 feet on almost 200 feet of 200 pound Dacron.

    A video clip will of course be forthcoming on Facebook. And only seasoned kite fliers will bother watching it all the whole way through, possibly wrestling with sea-sickness all the while. Hence the title of this post. Still, it was an interesting, if slightly nerve-wracking, outing! At shoulder level, the breeze measured around 9kph gusting to 18.5kph. Some low cloud over the hills was absolutely tearing along, perhaps up around 40kph.

    Huge Homemade Kites And Aerial Photography: This is often the topic for posts which appear here. New things are always being tried so sign up for my newsletter to stay right up to date with the latest developments!

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