Monday, January 18, 2010
The 555 timer sells at Radio Shack for less than $2.00. I purchased two in case I messed up the first one. The packaging of the timer comes with a schematic that shows the pin-out of the device, and Wikipedia has detailed schematics for the circuit that creates the timing intervals, (look up 555 timers on Wikipedia).
Saturday, January 16, 2010
with my kite, I first get it up above the trees where it becomes very stable, then I can take my time and attach the camera and rig. I have about 500 feet of line which can get the camera high enough to capture five or six miles a landscape in a single photograph.
I will say however that in wind below 6mph I need a very long "runway" to get it up above the trees where it can find a steady breeze. In winds above 10mph it begins to act strangely, like suddenly folding in on itself and getting tangled in its own line. Although I really like the sled kite, I have read that most KAPers use one of the following kites: Delta, Delta-Conyne, Flowform, or Dopero. And I will eventually get one of those listed, so I can fly in lower winds, and still another for winds above 10mph.
I have found that it's a good idea to use 100 to 150# line with a big kite, and to purchase a swivel from a bait and tackle store that is rated for more than 100 pounds of force. Having a swivel between the kite and the line, allows the line to untwist itself as you pull the kite down and it makes it very easy to disconnect your line from the kite when packing everything up at the end of the day.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
for a detailed explanation of how to make it. I will admit however that the most difficult part is the creativity required in finding suitable material to make the cross itself.
The Picavet rig will allow the camera to remain level and it greatly reduces the amount of shaking and vibration that the camera experiences, thus your pictures are less likely to be blurry. Not that you won't have a few blurry pictures, but you won't have pictures so blurry that they are unrecognizable like most of the ones I had before using a Picavet rig.
On my first rig I used about ten feet (3 meters) of 5/32" (3.97mm) thick line. But I found that 60% of my photos were still coming out blurry. So then I switched to 50 feet (15 meters) of #18 twisted twine. However the first thing I found is that no matter how careful I am its all in a big knot by the time I arrive at my destination. To resolve this I had to learn how to tie a daisy chain in the picavet line. A good place to learn how to tie the daisy chain is on Youtube.
A second method, which I now use, is remote control. I purchased the BBKK from brooxes.com and am using it with my 10mega pixel Kodak camera. This was a vast improvement over the first method because the remote control allows me to change where the camera is pointing while it’s in the air allowing for a much greater diversity of photos once the camera is brought back down.
Recently while surfing the internet, I stumbled upon a site that featured fascinating aerial photographs taken on a camera suspended from a flying kite. I have always enjoyed kite flying, and for the past ten years I’ve owned a large kite known as a Power Sled. It’s designed to lift other kites, streamers, and wind socks into the air by attaching them to the Power Sled’s main kite line; but after all these years this was the first time I had given thought to flying a camera from my kite. I began on a “kite string” budget. Even though I started off doing everything wrong, I was able to capture some fun photos on my first attempt.
Welcome to my adventures in kite aerial photography. Follow along as I share the steps I’ve taken to make this hobby work, and stay tuned, as I continue to post exciting new photos here on The Kite Aerial Photography of Gary Eugene Howell.