Marion Shopping Centre
With light winds and sunny skies it was looking like a good opportunity
for some more KAP (Kite Aerial Photography). Perhaps another shot at the
Unfortunately, the ideal flying field had been taken
over yet again by a group of dog owners. Most likely a club. More
arrived as I sat in the car, trying to figure out where to go next...
location that afforded a view of the Marion Shopping Centre was finally
selected. Another location was much closer, but did not suit the sun's
direction. There would have been too much glare spoiling the photos.
looked like an afternoon for the big Multi-Dowel Barn Door kite. But
things could lighten up considerably, so the Multi-Dowel Sled was
selected as the backup kite.
As it turned out, the wind was fairly ideal for the big Barn Door, although somewhat gusty at first...
On this site, there's more kite-making info than you can poke a stick at :-) Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?
The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.
Every kite in every MBK series.
Light winds were gusting into the high teens in kph. Thin high cloud was spread across much of the sky. The artificial variety was there too - a long thick vapor trail extended from West to East almost as far as the eye could see. See the kite photo below!
Temperature was in the high twenties (C). Pleasant weather! It's often very hot at this time of year in Adelaide.
MBK Multi-Dowel Barn Door
Lifter: The 2.4 meter (8 feet) span Multi-Dowel Barn Door
kite, with drogues attached. I do nearly all KAP with drogues these
days. Even if the kite doesn't absolutely need it, the extra drag
steadies the kite's motion over all its wind range. Hence the KAP rig
Have a look at my e-book Making Dowel Kites, if you're interested in making a large cheap kite for KAP.
Bamboo skewer cage with glued-in paddle-pop sticks behind the camera to
incline the field of view down a little. Half-Picavet suspension as
usual these days.
Conveniently, the wind direction shifted back
and forth a little today, providing many perfectly framed shots! All the
same, I tried a small tweak of the cradle direction on the second
Camera: Pentax Optio WG-2 with built-in
intervalometer. Two sets of 20 shots, at 10 second intervals, were done
today. EV was left on -0.7. ISO was fixed on 125. Focus was fixed on
The first 3 images below were from the first flight, while the last one was from the second flight of the big Barn Door kite.
Most views were from just under 200 feet above the grass.
Click on a thumbnail image below to see it much larger...
Looking through a paper directory, an open space not far from Flinders University looked like a possibility. On driving past however, it seemed pretty cramped, with a mini-forest of kite-catching trees lying in wait along one side. Besides being overgrown with tall weeds!
With the afternoon sun getting lower, an Easterly camera view was out
of the question for capturing the Marion Shopping Centre. But I spotted
an oval in the suburbs to the South-West of the complex. Worth a try!
oval turned out to be a very well-kept area which was covered in short
thick grass. Soon the Multi-Dowel Barn Door was up, with the line out to
105 meters (350 feet) - about the limit, to keep clear of the
power-lines bordering the field on two sides!
The first flight
went well, although the kite was pushed around a few times by the last
big thermals of the day. On a second flight, I tweaked the direction of
the camera cradle a little, before letting it back up on the same line
length as before.
This time, the air was noticeably smoother,
with the KAP rig barely moving at times. Great! The kite was sitting at
around a 50 degree angle, in fairly ideal wind speeds it seemed. Bright
orange drogues trailing out behind, on long lines to dampen out any tail
On getting home, the images were good, but little
detail of the Marion complex could be seen. However, the shots still had
an interesting aspect, since some of them showed the Marion shopping
centre, the nearby Aquatic Centre and the Adelaide CBD in the
The story or stories above document actual flying experiences.
My write-ups are definitely warts-and-all since things don't always go totally as planned. However, half the fun of kiting is anticipating the perfect flight. When it happens, it's magic!
As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making info here than you can poke a stick at :-)
Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?
The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small...
Every kite in every MBK series.