KAP Compared to Traditional Aerial Photos

Sometimes folks will ask me what makes kite aerial photography (KAP) different than the more traditional methods of taking aerial pictures.

My partner was taking flight lessions and wanted some practice with extra weight in the plane. He invited me to join him during one of his lessions. I was fortunate enough to have my SLR camera with me during the flight. I now have also had an opportunty to do essentially one of the same shots of Walter Payton's Roundhouse but this time with my KAP gear.

Shot from plane
Shot from KAP rig
The picture from the plane was taken from a height of about 1500 feet using my Minolta Vectis S-1 camera and a 56-170mm lens. The KAP shot, in comparison, was taken using a fixed focus Canon Elph Jr with the KAP rig at a height of about 450 feet. Both cameras were loaded with ISO 400 Kodak Advantix film.

Without a side-by-side comparision, the pictures might look almost the same except for the slightly different angle and the difference in lighting (the photograph from the plane was taken at about 11:00am in the summer while the KAP shot was at 2:00pm in early fall.) Next to each other, the KAP shot provides a higher sense of dimension due to the lower level oblique view. To me, it makes for a more interesting perspective of this fantastic structure.
The picture above is a composite of two KAP pictures that I stitched together to show the Roundhouse in the foreground and the city of Aurora in the background.
This satellite picture of the Roundhouse was obtained from the Microsoft TerraServer database. Taken in July of 1993, the one meter resolution (one pixel is one square meter) is sufficient to show that the attached transportation center was operational (note the cars in the parking lot to the right and the buses above the structure) but the Roundhouse was still not restored.

Big Red Barn Teeple Barn at Agtech
My first rig Walter Payton's Roundhouse Cider Barn Green's Stratoscoop2 Fermi Lab National Accelerator
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