another newbie

hello all
my names leslie
firstly thanks admittance been watching from the sidelines for a little while. bought my kite shortly before xmas
flew it a few times to get the hang of launching a kite and flying it. then hooked up my gopro to about 10 feet of kite line and sent it aloft. the only issue was no memory card with me lol but i sent it up anyway. the second attempt i put a memory card in the gopro and had it suspended a couple of meters below the kite. while that worked ok the camera spun around quite alot. i got some images but a lot were deleted. by then i had found this forum and done a little reading lol. for my third outing i took the kite out before sunset and hung the gopro about 20-30 meters below the kite expecting to get collect more images with less string in them as i suspect the kite was moving in the wind and throwing the gopro around a lot. sadly either the light levels were too low or it was very windy as i was unable to get one nice image all where out of focus or blurred a lot from a slow exposure. or both perhaps as where i connect the gopro strings to the kite they had wrapped around the kite line many times and quite a few images with blurry strings in them lol.
i include a link to a couple of pics i took the first of my kite then one of my first kap images lol . not sure of forum rules regarding photos and cant seem to find a beginners section so i put it in general section


  • Welcome Leslie to the KAP forum!

    You will find a wealth of knowledge here.

    Your initial KAP photos look great!

    The simple GoPro on a string should work fine but does need steady wind, bright sunlight / fast shutter speeds for the best results due to spinning of the camera.

    You can progress to a simple auto KAP rig with pan and tilt servos to improve the ratio of sharp images (typically over 90%).

    As for where to post your photos, no strict rules. You can post on this forum with no issues. Many KAPers (myself included) post our photos to the flickr KAP group.

    See the links at the top of the discussion page (just below the banner) for search, sources of KAP gear and options for where to post KAP shots.

    All of us have made a bunch of dumb mistakes (this is how we learn!), see post here.

    Enjoy kite flying, taking pictures and the KAP forum! Looking forward to your future posts.


  • Hi Leslie,

    a warm welcome

    the beginning looks promising,... other nice pictures and good flying time will come, for sure

    wish you all the best possible for now and for future

    SMAC from Italy
  • Hi Leslie,
    Nice photo. :-)

    Welcome to the forum. Experimenting and trying things like you did is how we learn.
  • well had the kite out a couple of times since the last post. thought i'd try for some sunset shots it was quite windy ended up with a lot of radially blurred pics was an interesting effect but not what i intended and none were unusable. the camera line was quite twisted by the time i brought it back down. i have since seen a couple of posts with some ideas i want to try next. sent the kite up again this afternoon had a thunderstorm sitting over the mountains thought it would make a nice picture if i was lucky. got the kite aloft went to hook up the gopro only to find the battery was dead must of turned it on accidently at some point. so not much to show for my efforts. the wind was really strong this afternoon got the kite up about ten meters then the handle broke on my cheap fishing hand reel i have been using so the reel dropped to the ground then along it with me after it. must of made for an interesting spectacle lol. lucky it got caught on the paling fence. the line i have is braided i think it did a neat job of sawing through the thin paling i have to confess. which brings me to a question should i cut about 20 meters of line off now thats its been used as a hacksaw ? i think i'm going to hunt around and make one of those statosphere reels shortly as the hand reel is tedious to reel back in and its starting to deform as well. one other question i have is my kite has a drogue for a tail about 50% of the time it doesn't look inflated and i'm wondering if i should change tails or perhaps insert some sort of wire ring into the drogue to help keep it inflated perhaps thanks for any thoughts
  • SueSue
    edited March 2017
    Hi Cardie
    Welcome to the forum
    I know you'll have a lot of fun and get to know other KAPers her and hopefully in the air.
    If you ever see a camera on a kite line, go and introduce yourself and you'll make a new friend.

    Now some friendly comments from me.

    >A thunderstorm sitting over the mountains.<. I personally wouldn't fly anywhere near a thunderstorm! It could be deadly!

    > Should I cut about 20m of line....<. Yes if the line is damaged. It will be likely to break at that point and you could lose the kite or at least have to chase it a long way.

    > The drogue ..... Doesn't look inflated 50% of the time.<
    I have used a Power Sled 24 and 14 like yours for KAP for a number of years. The front of my drogue has a stiffened band in it. If you make sure that the front is fairly open and round before sending the kite up, it is more likely to stay open.

    I think you would have a better rate of "keepers" if you changed to a pendulum rig. I made this one out of 1cm wide flat aluminium about 50cm long. I've recently made one out of two sizes of tube which takes apart and is shorter for carrying.

    NEW KAP RIG JAN 2011 (48)

    You can change the up and down angle as well as turn it round. I used hard rubber discs between the metal joints. I tighten the bolts till the joint are hard to turn which prevent the rig turning by itself.

    The attachment to the line it's made from a wire coathanger. It's the same as the one in this photo

    Pendulum rig 2014

    Fly High

  • edited March 2017
    We welcome you to the kite aerial photography group and are happy to see the picture you realised.
    The power sled seems to be a good choice for Kap !
    It fly very well in medium winds, I use one since many years.
    The pendulum rig is very easy to use but if you want to save weight on low wind, a picavet suspension is better .
    The weight of the camera is one factor you have to take care, mine is only 145 grams
    Picavet suspension need more time to be used but it give new opportunities to fly high !
  • inspired by sue's comments and photos i made a pendulum rig. it really helped with a lot more usable photos. for testing purposes i'm out in the park again. my rig can swing backwards and forwards a bit but it cant swing sideways much well it can but the kite really has to be moving around a lot. got some images of the rig on my phone i will have to dl. i did make a pivoting frame for the gopro but then figured out that if i used a curved mount that came with the gopro i could get a photo with the horizon or twist it to point straight down. have to confess photos pointing straight down look odd to me i much prefer a photo with a horizon in it .but that could be just me lol
  • edited March 2017
    next on the agenda is a 360 degree rig or one of those stratospool winders. im sure my wrists are getting stronger from winding in the kite on a hand reel but its slow and perhaps an accident waiting to happen in a strong gust of wind. i have noticed the kite does come down a lot quicker with the added weight of the rig as well. also i want a cheap housing so i can cut out the plastic window as i'm sure its giving me flare or reflections maybe
  • Chardie, a very cheap, easy and effective winder that won't tire your wrists is known as a bobbin winder or paddle winder. Google it. There's also lots of discussion on this site about winders. I started with homemade bobbins and still use them occasionally. The reason that it's easy on the wrists (the way I use it) is that you drop the line on the ground as you are pulling the kite in (hand over hand, with gloves). Once the kite is down, you wind the loose line onto the bobbin with a figure-8 pattern, which eliminates twist in the line. Winding the line onto a bobbin while the kite is flying can put too much stress on the wood and destroy it. I've come close to breaking a bobbin so I don't wind under stress, except a few occasional winds for controlling the kite. A bobbin doesn't work as well for heavy winds or strong kites because hauling it in with your hands can be hard. Flying with line in hand is a pleasant way of flying a kite if conditions permit.

    Another big advantage to the bobbin is that it stores easily for travel. If you can saw wood, you can make a bobbin.

    I have made my own versions of the stratospool design. My later iterations work well but I'm still trying to get the perfect design for me. Since I don't fly kites much these days, building kite winders is on the back burner. Still, I'm aching to try just a couple more changes.

    If you haven't done it already, I recommend devising a kite anchoring mechanism that you can use to give your hands an occasional rest. I best like a homemade omega hook attached to a climbers sling (loop) that I hang from my belt. With that, I can anchor the kite to myself or use the sling to loop around a pole or tree. Beware, anchored kites can go crazy.
  • Chardie - I recently changed my pendulum rig to a simpler design and it seems to work so far. There's a gearbox with battery pack on top for auto-rotation. I like to shoot the horizon too, and I get a fair amount of usable shots without the lens distortion of these wide angle action cams. Part of the battery pack was getting in the shots, so I moved it to the rear. I have a fore/aft pivot at the top of the pendulum and a port/starboard pivot above the rig.
  • ok here's a couple of rough pics of the rig the light levels aren't so good but hopefully you get the idea
    the wire frame was made from the handle of a 20 liter plastic bucket its about 300mm long. too long i think now but i can always shorten it later. i made it from the thickest wire i could find may have gone a little overboard lol.
    the bracket at the bottom doesn't swivel its done up too tight it swivels on the gopro mount. at the moment it moves through 90 degrees next model will allow more movement. its just what i could cobble together at the time to get some kite and camera time together. i'm tempted to swap out the alloy tube for carbon and shorten the wire frame see how much lighter i could get as the kite does come down pretty quick now.
    having the camera upside down means the photos are also upside down but i can change that in a menu on the camera
    when i find a moment. my laptop died not long ago been using a pcduino3 a single board computer to get onto the net and surf around its linux based so its been a real learning experience and going from windows and photoshop to ubuntu and the gimp has been interesting to say the least.
  • Great stuff Chardie.
    Keep experimenting and you'll eventually have the 'perfect rig' for you.

    If you had a right angled aluminum at the bottom of your rig, you could attach the go pro using the tripod attachment. It could then swivel and go up and down using various go pro attachments.

    Aluminium rod/strap will be stronger for drilling and sawing to make the rigs. Carbon tube will probably spilt when you've nearly finished the rig!!

    Fly High

  • been thinking a bit more :)
    took the kap rig to work today as there's more tools to use :) changed the bottom of the kap rig or how i mount the gopro to it. basically drilled two sets of holes at 90 degrees to each other in the alloy pipe which means i can now mount the gopro and it will point to either north, south, east or west, i use arc pins to fasten the gopro to the pendulum for a quick disconnect and angle change . its not real pretty and i have to wind the kite in to change the camera viewpoint but i can live with that for now. better go test it :) i also cut the top part down to about half the length it was so that might lighten it a little aswell
    like your panning unit larry could do something similar but my arduino's are tied up doing other things at the moment
  • found a photo that displays the rotational blur from from having the gopro hung from string. changing to a pendulum setup has improved the ratio of good photos to bad to about 90 % good. i'll post this for posterity if you get into kapping may as well make a pendulum rig at the start it will save you deleting a lot of images lol
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