The View Up Here

Random scribblings about kites, photography, machining, and anything else

A Challenging Flight

Posted by Tom Benedict on 16/12/2011

Ever since I started doing kite aerial photography, I’ve been itching to fly at Ulu La`au, the Waimea Nature Park. It’s located right behind the place where I work, so access is easy. It’s got a lot of photographic potential, and aerial views of gardens are always good to have.

The difficulty is it’s ringed by eucalyptus trees, many close to a hundred feet high. Oh, and there are smaller trees inside the garden itself. Oh! And there’s practically no way to walk in a kite that was launched elsewhere because the only open side to the park has power lines right next to it. In short, it’s a PITA.

I figured out a couple of routes in, all of which would involve a second person, a tag line, carabiners, and a gawdawful hand-off while the person who launched the kite clambered through some brush, down through a running creek, up through the brush on the other side, followed by a bit of a mad scramble through the garden itself. In short, they were all even bigger PITAs.

Earlier this week I just decided to try to launch on a gust and get my kite above the tree line as quick as I could. To my amazement, this actually worked!

But that’s where the fun stopped. The sun was high, the kite was high, I forgot my sun glasses, and by the end of a thirty minute session I could feel the migraine coming on. I got all the gear down safely, but 90% of my photos were tossers. I’d missed almost every subject I’d tried to photograph. Even so, I had a couple of good ones work out.

Waimea Nature Park 5

Waimea Nature Park 4

Waimea Nature Park 2

Even as I was going through them, I  found myself wishing I’d had that video link I’ve been working on. I really really want a viewfinder the next time I put a camera in the air.

– Tom

P.S. Last night I took my Technician Class HAM license exam. I passed! As soon as my name and call sign appear in the FCC ULS database, I’m good to go!

P.P.S. The HAM bug has caught me good and hard. I bought a copy of the General Class license study guide before I left the test, and I started reading it today at lunch.

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One Response to “A Challenging Flight”

  1. The photos look good and I’m glad you have decent flying weather; its awful here! Video link would definitely help but don’t forget it is a PITA all to itself, keeping the receiver powered, getting antennae and cross channel interference optimised and keeping your monitor in a viewable state are all joys that await!

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