Saturday 30 March 2024

"The Last Survivors" KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) 30th March 2024

 How Do All,

Today I cycled back to Runnymede to see the "The Last Survivors" Willow and stainless steel sculptures by Sara Holmes, Commisioned by The National Trust, Installed at Runnymede, site of Magna Carta, Old Windsor, UK

See Sara's Facebook page:

I took along some kites and 3 different KAP rigs (Kite Aerial Photography) to play with in the hope of getting some nice pictures of the sculptures from the kites eye view.

The wind was very fickle and coming from the south, over the tree covered ridge making it difficult to keep the kite up, let alone a camera rig. 

I did get my DJI Pocket II camera rig to fly a short while and got some ok photos, but I've got all summer to go play kites and KAP at Runnymede so hopefully I'll get some better shots!

I decided to give up trying for the money shot and got out my pointer kite instead which sparked quite a interest, and made me some new friends, two of which; Ebenezer and Xena ( I'm still not convinced they are their real names ) ended up going away seasoned kite flyers after spending time flying my pointer kite; and then my 9 foot delta which I was using for the KAP, they both handled the kites really well and I do hope they buy a kite or ten and join me again sometime.

Ebenezer flying the 6 meter tall Pointer kite 

Inside each of the willow sculptures are a series of poems, here two of the many, all of which were written by young offenders serving time, school children, a judge, a policeman and I forget whom else, maybe a milkman.

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day 💓 

Flying my midi heart kite, and midi best dressed bear for Valentines day.
The heart is 41 feet long by 17 feet wide (12.5m x 5.2m) and the bear is 20 feet tall (6m)

Monday 29 January 2024

Sutherland Grange KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) 28th January 2024

 How Do All,

After my last attempt to photograph Dorney rowing lake from my kite line, I decided I needed to be at the opposite end of the lake and across the River Thames to get a better overall picture of the lake.

The above picture is a composite of two photos stitched together using a computer program called Hugin. 
I'm not so clever at working with it so this picture has a small fault but can you see it?

I had hoped to get my camera situated so I could get a shot including the River Thames running along the length of the lake alongside but the very light wind was blowing from the south, this put my kite and camera on the wrong side of the lake, however the photos I did take came out pretty good non the less.

Dorney rowing lake with the River Thames winding its way around.
The building at the end of the lake is the Eton College rowing centre and boat house.
Maidenhead can be seen just behind the far end of the lake.

Royal Windsor Race Course (horse racing) which has a yacht basin (marina) and and lodges. 
The industrial sprawl of Slough can been seen running along the horizon. 

An over head picture of the inlet from the River Thames which leads to the yacht basin.

Friday 19 January 2024

Dorney Rowing lake KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) 6th January 2024

How Do All, 

My first KAP Expedition of the year.

I rode to Dorney Rowing lake,  which is situated WNW of Windsor in England, and was used for the 2012 Olympic games.

This above picture is a 180 degree Panorama made up from 4 single photos and stitched together using the Hugin program.

I actually wanted to get the whole lake in the image but the direction of the wind put my kite over the lake, next time I will get it, and with hindsight I could have positioned myself in a small field behind a large bank at the top end of the lake.

The finish line end of the lake and me at the other end of the kite line.

The wind was very up and down, and as it dropped so did my camera and kite; which I got this photo of.

Looking across the rowing lanes towards Slough. Windsor castle can just be made out of the far right of the horizon.
Some information on Dorney Lake.
Dorney Lake
Aerial view of Dorney Lake in 2007
Dorney Lake is located in Buckinghamshire
Dorney Lake
Dorney Lake
LocationDorneyBuckinghamshire, England
Coordinates51.4933°N 0.6655°W
TypeArtificial lakerowing lake
Basin countriesUnited Kingdom
Max. length2.2 kilometres (1.4 miles)

Dorney Lake (also known as Eton College Rowing Centre, and as Eton Dorney as a 2012 Summer Olympics venue) is a purpose-built rowing lake in England. It is near the village of DorneyBuckinghamshire, and is around 3 km (2 miles) west of Windsor and Eton, close to the River Thames.

The lake is privately owned and financed by Eton College, which spent £17 million developing it. Additional grants, totalling £500,000, were obtained from Sport EnglandUK Sport, the DCMS and SEEDA in order to build the lake's finish tower. The project was completed in 2006, after 10 years of construction.[1] The facilities are hired out for rowing, as well as for canoeingHospitalitydragon boating, and triathlon.

2012 Olympic venue[edit]

The lake was used as the 2012 Summer Olympic venue for rowing and canoe sprint, and as the 2012 Summer Paralympic venue for rowing.[2] For the duration of the Olympics, the lake was officially referred to as Eton Dorney; confusingly, a separate venue in Stratford was called Eton Manor due to 19th-century associations with the school.

To provide for Olympic spectators, the existing facilities were enhanced to include 20,000 additional seats; most of these seats were temporary. Construction of enhancements to Dorney Lake began in October 2009, following investigations by Oxford Archaeology, including a new cut-through between the competition lake and the return lane, a new bridge and an upgraded access road, funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).[3] During the Olympic events, Dorney Lake was staffed by around 3,500 personnel including volunteers; it could accommodate up to 30,000 spectators per day.[4] A temporary bridge over the River Thames linked the Dorney Lake site to Windsor Racecourse, where a pick-up and drop-off point for Olympic spectators was established.[5][6] Other access options existed for walkers and cyclists.[7]

Saturday 4 November 2023

St Annes Pier and Manu sand art KAP (kite aerial photography) 11th September 2023

 How Do All,

This September whilst attending the St Annes International Kite Festival, I again took the opportunity to do some Kite Aerial Photography (KAP). 
I had wanted to take some aerial photos during the kite festival but was too busy flying other kites, so after the festival was over, and on an empty beach I had the opportunity to take some photos of the derelict end of the St Annes pier which was the landing jetty, and some sand art work made by Manu during the kite festival.
The wind was very light and and the sky overcast, it was a task to keep my 3 meter delta kite in the air with the camera. so I only got a few pictures. Here are the better ones.

Sand art by Manu, with the derelict end of the pier, behind, and in the back ground the rest of the still used pier and St Annes town.

A self portrait in front of the derelict pier.

Sand art mandala by Manu, with me in the middle as a size reference.

The landing jetty is all that is left from the end of the old pier.

Some information on St Annes Pier.
St Anne's Pier
St Anne's Pier
View of St Anne's Pier
TypeVictorian Pleasure Pier
LocaleSt Anne's-on-the-SeaLancashire
Total length600 feet (180 m)
Width34 feet (10 m)
DesignerAlfred Dowson (1880–1885)
Garlick and Sykes (1901–1904)
Opening date15 June 1885
Coordinates53.7496°N 3.0351°W
St Anne's Pier is located in Lytham St Annes
St Anne's Pier
St Anne's Pier
Location in Lytham St Annes

St Anne's Pier is a Victorian era pleasure pier in the English seaside resort of St Anne's-on-the-SeaLancashire. It lies on the estuary of the River Ribble. The pier, designed by Alfred Dowson,[1] was completed in 1885 and was one of the earliest public buildings in St Anne's, a 19th-century planned town. The pier was originally intended to be a sedate promenading venue for the resort's visitors, but attractions were later added. Changes made to the estuary channels to improve access to Preston Dock left the pier on dry land and ended its steamer services to Blackpool and Liverpool.

A Tudor-style entrance was built in 1899. Early 20th-century additions included a Moorish-style pavilion in 1904 and the Floral Hall in 1910. The Moorish Pavilion was destroyed by fire in 1974, shortly after the town's centenary; the Floral Hall burned down in 1982. Originally 914 feet (279 m) long, the pier was reduced to 600 feet (180 m) by the demolition of the seaward end. English Heritage has designated the pier a Grade II listed building.

Friday 3 November 2023

Lytham Windmill KAP (kite aerial photography) 5th September 2022

How Do All,
Last September whilst attending the St Annes International Kite Festival, I took the opportunity to do some Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) at the Lytham Windmill here are some of my better shots.

A panorama of five images stitched together, taken at low altitude, looking east north east.
Note the kite line at the right of the image.

Lytham Windmill from directly above from my KAP rig.

My handmade 6 foot Rokkaku kite with my BB logo applique and fuzzy tail, used for lifting my KAP rig.

My KAP rig, with 360 degree autorotation servo and an FPV (first person view) camera attached on the left to give me an idea of what the camera is pointing at whilst taking photos.
My Kap rig is based on a design by Wolfgang Bieck

A panorama of five images stitched together, taken at low altitude, looking west south west.
Note the kite line at the left of the image.

Lytham Windmill.

Lytham Windmill from the ground.

Here is some info on the Windmill.
Lytham Windmill

Lytham Windmill is situated on Lytham Green in the coastal town of Lytham St AnnesLancashireEngland. It is of the type known as a tower mill and was designed for grinding wheat and oats to make flour or bran. Since commercial milling on the site ceased in 1921 the mill has belonged to the town and is operated by Fylde Borough Council, who open it to the public during the summer. The mill also contains a museum run by the Lytham Heritage Trust which explains the history and practice of flour milling.[1][2]

The mill was built on Lytham marshes around 1805 on land leased by the local landowner and squire to miller Richard Cookson. Some of the mill's machinery, including a 150-year-old mainshaft of Baltic oak, was salvaged from other local mills. The plinth which now surrounds the mill was added later for safety reasons. The original smoky drying kiln, once adjacent to the mill, was moved to Kiln Street after pressure from well-to-do local residents in the growing town. The surrounding land was later levelled and grassed to form a ribbon green between the houses and the sea, in the middle of which stands the mill.

In 1919 a high wind overcame the mill's braking mechanism and the sails spun out of control, causing the mill to be burnt out. Two years later the squire, John T. Clifton, donated the gutted building to the town. The shell was restored, given a new cap, a set of mock sails and used variously as a cafe, as headquarters of Lytham Cruising Club, Motorboat Club and Sea Cadets and even as an Electricity Board sub-station.

In 1951 the mill was designated a grade II listed building.[3] In 1989 it was totally restored by Fylde Borough Council and opened to the public.