Hello all. David Connolly here. I run BAJR ( British Archaeological Jobs Resource and also Past Horizons along with Maggie ) Have worked in archaeology now for over 30 years, ranging from the north of Scotland to the plains of Central Asia. Was actually introduced to kite work in the UAE many moons ago.... but it was thanks to John Wells and his generosity that I have now taken this to a new level. with two kites and a rig, plus the trusty polecam and 4 cameras it is possible to get the view that you want but could never achieve. I am also friends with Adam Stanford of AerialCam, so am immersed in the world of high and lo altitude photography.
I am increasingly turning to training as my new direction and as part of the course for recording - whether it is a Neolithic barrow or a simple evaluation trench - the kite and pole are never far away. great for kids ( old and young) as well.
Looking forward to reporting on some work that includes this technique later this month.
Hi All. I’m Rob and I’m a Research Fellow at the Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire (http://www.ccri.ac.uk/). My general research area is geographical information systems (GIS), with a particular interest in the use of GIS for 3D landscape modelling, Web-based GIS and GIS for promoting public participation in the planning process. More here: www.ccri.ac.uk/berry/.
I was delighted when John approached me via LinkedIn with an offer of a KAP kit. Funnily enough, this coincides with a recent interest in power kiting, and I’m waiting for my very first power kite to arrive by post as I write (a 3m HQ Beamer, in case you were interested!). Looking forward to getting to grips with KAP. I can see potential applications in my own GIS teaching and research, and I have already had some interest from colleagues who want to explore the possibilities of KAP for, amongst other things, mapping marmot colonies in the Swiss alps, and monitoring weed growth in rivers! Should be fun. I’ll endeavour to post updates as I progress.
Thanks again to John and SNAPS for the kit – still waiting for the catch ;-)
I live in Oxfordshire, England, and work in construction.
My initial interest in Kite Aerial Photography comes from being interested in Aerial Photography particularly in relation to Archaeology. Using a kite for me is just a means of getting a photograph. In the past (15+ years ago) I have taken aerial photographs from light aircraft. While on a single flight you can quickly cover a large number of different locations over a wide area, the cost is prohibitive for me, not to mention the planning involved and issues with restrictions relating to airspace.
The few kites I had as a kid - bought single liners, in every instance that I can recall either the string snapped or the end of the line was not tied to the winder resulting in quickly lost kites. So I didn't develop a great interest in kites at that time.
My awareness of Kite Aerial Photography began around 2000 whilst at Bournemouth University doing Archaeology degree. I found a few references to KAP just by simply reading up on aerial photography but there was nothing in the university library specifically on KAP. Using the internet a quick YAHOO! search led me to Cris Bentons <a href="http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/kaptoc.html">Notes on Kite Aerial Photography</a> - which firmly implanted the idea in my mind. At that time although digital cameras were available they were rather expensive, KAP would have to use a film camera - I was having trouble scraping together the money for the developing/printing of my normal photographs, and then there was the question of how to trigger the camera - so nothing really started at this time –My friend Harry reminds me that I did get a kite, but the line broke while flying it too strong a wind next to Boscombe Pier.
Moving on to 2007, my brother was clearing out a load of junk including a rather battered and broken radio control car, which I intercepted before the binmen took it away, the transmitter seemed to work and the steering servo worked - here was a remote camera trigger. I bought a small cheap Delta Conyne and went on holiday to Ardnamurchan with it, just to see how well it would fly, could I really fly a camera with a kite like this - well it flew great, it didn't have enough pull for a camera, but a larger one would - so a couple of months later a larger Delta Conyne arrived closely followed by a cheapish digital camera.
I cobbled together a simple KAP rig just to prove that the idea would work before putting effort into making something better - the rig after the important parts like the camera and RC bits (shutter trigger) was built of cardboard with some foam to protect the camera, along with pieces of paper, gaffer tape, string and a webbing strap with quick release buckle. I got a few photos of my house and garden on the 6th January 2008, and I was hooked. by the end of that month I was flying a UU rig (like Brooxes Simplex Rig), taking photographs of archaeological sites. I also quickly discovered that my new digital camera had a built in intervalometer - so I gave up with the RC gear. In the five years since starting Kite Aerial Photography I have progressed to using lots of kites and various cameras including some converted to be sensitive to near-infrared.
There are many sites I fly, I like nothing better than some low sun casting shadows across earthworks or cropmarks in fields – and I spend a lot of time with these subjects – I am often guilty of photographing more than I have the time to process through.
Talking specifically about Scotland, I have flown my kite and camera at about 130 locations, most of them archaeological. Some photos I have uploaded to RCAHMS Canmore website canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/activity/?usr=319
I'm also interested in other aerial bits and pieces - sort of loosely have some projects or subjects even tick lists I'm working through, I have a large file filled with KAP points of interest and cropmarks in Google Earth.
A lot of what I fly I suppose is driven by curiosity - the aerial photograph can show details and layouts that are hard to understand (or appreciate) on the ground. A camera in the air will show me what is the other side of that belt of trees or tall fence. I am well aware that 'curiosity is what killed the cat'.
Hopefully I can contribute something useful to this forum.
Anyone with an interest in archaeology, or just good aerial images, should browse through Hamish's photos. Hamish is a member of the West Lothian Archaeology Group and is one of the leading archaeological kite aerial photographers in the UK.