The most important thing about
Kite Aerial Photography is that the kite
used for lifting the camera rig is stable and predictable. Using the rig we offer will allow
a high degree of versatility, but there's no substitute for kite flying experience when it
comes to getting good photographs. Most digital cameras in the 3 mega pixel and up range
give excellent results. Simple point-and-shoot models are perfect. As you gain experience,
more camera features may be useful, but they are not necessary in order to get some great
images. Film cameras can be used, though results are not as immediate and the number of
photographs per flight with digital is very attractive. The more stable your kite, the less
the KAP rig suspended below it will move, lowering the chance of blurred pictures.
The full featured KAP rig is available pre-assembled complete with R/C control,
or as an "almost-ready-to-shoot" package including kite, flying line and field equipement. (Camera installation
required with minimal assembly and adjustment for all options). The KAP rig offers pan and tilt as well as shutter
control. A KAP system without R/C gear will require at least a 3 channel Radio Control system with necessary
transmitter, receiver, battery packs and actuator servos. Modification of one servo is necessary for the pan function.
The rig employs a Picavet suspension system, which utilizes free running miniature pulley blocks, that ensures a level
platform for the camera.
For best results, the lifter kite should be launched and flown initially at an
altitude of around 150 feet where it will stabilize and provide a steady lifting pull on the line. Avoid turbulent or
confined conditions for your first KAP flights. Once kite stability has been established, the rig is attached simply and
easily to the flying line at ground level. After checking the R/C is functioning correctly, the kite can be allowed to
climb by paying out line, lifting the rig into the air. You're now ready to take Kite Aerial Photographs. Remember, Good
quality KAPs are just like good earthbound photo's, good lighting, good subject and no camera shake will pay off.
The kites shown on this page are suitable for lifting this KAP rig with a point-and-shoot style camera weighing around
14 ounces. Usually, the complete rig with camera and R/C system weighs approximately 1.5lbs to 2lbs. As wind conditions
are variable, they often determine which kite is best for KAP. Lighter wind will necessitate using larger kites and
stronger wind small sizes. Flying line can also be a factor in either reducing or increasing drag. Tails too, often play
a major role to maintain stability. We advocate that some kite flying experience is needed for Kite Aerial Photography.
We are happy to discuss camera installation requirements and minor adjustments that may be necessary to the pre-built
KAP rig in order to fine tune your system. This is best done with interactive communication by telephone at 732 270-2112. For
an alternative to KAP with Radio Control, take a look at the FlyCamOneHD Kite Mini-Cam, a light
weight digital camera which shoots video and stills.