KAP Report:

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 reservoir?

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...

A 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.

Included in this KAP Report: kite photo, aerial stills
Included in this KAP Report: kite photo, aerial stills

It 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...



Weather

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.



KAP Equipment

The KAP lifter kite in flight.MBK Multi-Dowel Barn Door
The KAP lifter kite in flight.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 swings less.

Have a look at my e-book at the top of this page, if you're interested in making a large cheap kite for KAP.

KAP Rig: 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 flight.

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 infinity.



Images

The first three images below were from the first flight, while the last two were 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...


 


Flight Report

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!

The 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 wobbles.

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 background.

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Wind Speeds

Light Air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2

Gentle ...
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3

Moderate ...
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4

Fresh ...
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5

Strong ...
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7

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