ReadyMade Magazine Issue 6
Berkeley-based upstart magazine, ReadyMade did a short piece on my kite aerial photography. The supporting photos were the first published images from my KAP portfolio.
Photographers have done everything short of grow wings to capture an aerial shot. They’ve attached cameras to balloons, model rockets, planes, and even pigeons in hopes of rising to a suborbital vantage point.
Scott Haefner, for one, rigs his high-end equipment to a string and hoists it 300 feet in the air, chancing crash landings, tree entanglements, and the attention of the odd predatory bird. For Haefner, the risk is worth it. Unlike helicopters or planes, which fly at distancing elevations, kites fly just high enough off the ground to offer a fresh eye on the familiar.
The Mountain View, California-based Haefner soars his kite camera above shorelines, rural sweeps, and urban sprawl. He tinkers with fish-eye lenses and sometimes tweaks the images digitally to enhance their spheroid effect. “Kite photography is a rogue effort,” he says. “Anything goes.”
Aerial pros like Haefner mount their cameras in homemade “cradles” made from lightweight materials like aluminum and balsa; some even adapt computer hard disks for the task. Once the kite is airborne, a pulley system hikes the contraption up the string, and a remote-control handset controls the angle and shutter. But there are plenty of amateurs who use disposable cameras rigged with rubber bands, paper clips—even Legos. Cameras with timers work especially well for these setups.
For ideas on assembling your own, check out http://www.arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/kaptoc.html.