Berkeley Campanile

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Photo by Scott Haefner: Berkeley Campanile

Capturing this image proved to be my most challenging photo session yet. In 5 years of KAPing, I’ve certainly faced other demanding shoots—like flying from the bow of a moving boat in the San Francisco Bay—but this one turned out to be the most difficult and strenuous.

Launching the kite was nearly impossible because the tower extends up another 50-feet from the deck where we were standing (follow the kite line down), effectively blocking the wind. Even after my persistence finally resulted in getting the kite aloft, I often found my camera flying some 30- to 50-feet below where I was standing as the winds constantly changed.

As the fickle winds shifted, I had nowhere to go…no way to back up or change positions. Several times, the kite got caught in a thermal, and once it drifted over to the left of the tower, slamming my camera into the side and getting stuck as I watched helplessly. Luckily it released itself a minute later and I continued to fly until we ultimately got the shot we were after.

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