Kite Aerial Photography - Kap

What is Kite Aerial Photography - KAP?

Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) is when a small camera is fixed to a kite in order to take photos from the sky. It's an exciting hobby that has recently grown in popularity.

The way of fixing the camera can range from a very simple version - using a trigger mechanism and a disposable camera; to the more sophisticated set-up using radio control & digital cameras. So this hobby can suit a wide range of enthusiasts & budgets and also gives room for imagination & inventiveness.

One thing people love about this hobby is that the viewer feels more connected with what they are seeing on the ground below them. This is because the camera is much lower and flying slower that it would be from, for example, an aircraft. So you can often pick out clear figures of people and buildings, and recognise features of the land. It makes it feel more real.

Kite Aerial Photography History

You might think this is a modern pastime; made easier by digital cameras etc. However inventive pioneers proudly started this hobby over a hundred years ago. The first kite aerial photograph was taken by Arthur Batut in France in 1888; there is even a museum for him.

People were excited to see the earth from a new perspective; looking down from high above. For century's people, artists in particular, had tried to imagine how this might look.

Then in the late 19th & early 20th centuries KAP became quite popular. The photos were also used for many practical reasons e.g. surveys for science, military surveillance, evaluating a disaster. But by the 1930s powered flight started to take over as a means for taking aerial photos and KAP became less popular.

However, in the last 20 years Kite Aerial Photography has seen a comeback and a new enthusiasm. Most likely the reasons are:

* Photographing from kites is cheaper than using airplanes or helicopter
* A rise in popularity for flying kites for sport, & enjoyment of learning to do technical tricks and stunts.
* Now it's possible to buy relatively cheap, light, good quality, automatic cameras especially digital cameras.
* Using kites for observation where it?s too low for a piloted aircraft to fly.

Now this hobby is flourishing and we invite you to send us any of your photos. We'd also love to hear your own experience of KAP and any tips you may want to pass on or discuss with others.

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