Longest Day

The summer solstice – or the longest day in the northern hemisphere is always a fun day for Kite Aerial Photography (KAP).

I reserved part of the day for kite flying over the Wind Watcher proving grounds (park behind my home).

The lumpy wind was blowing 10-15 knots out of the South West. I selected my trusty Levitation Light delta kite fitted with a Dynamic Spreader. I selected a recently built Stratospool fitted with 150 lbs. braided Dyneema kite line.

The wind speed near the ground was near zero. Several long line launch attempts were required to get the kite up into clean air at about 300 feet.

The bright blue sky with a few white puffy clouds beckon for a camera…..

I pulled out my always ready to got auto KAP rig fitted with two cameras (Hero3+ and Sony A6000).

A few minutes confirming the manual focus…. followed by a rapid play out of line with the kite quickly climbing high into the sky above pulling the auto KAP rig with it.

Just as quickly as this fun KAP session started…..it ended…..as a fast moving squall line of thunderstorms made a sudden appearance in the sky.

Longest Day

I quickly reeled in kite line using the Stratospool and recovered the auto KAP rig. The kite quickly followed the KAP rig to the ground just as the first few sprinkles fell from the sky.

I had a smile on my face after getting everything safely back on the ground without having to replicate Ben Franklin's kite experiment with lighting!

The fierce storm packing winds over 50 mph and lightning quickly overspread the area just 15 minutes later.

Happy Summer Solstice to my fellow KAPers.


Longest Day


  • Your summer weather sounds as changeable as our winter weather, Jim!
    I once got shocks from a kite-line well before a storm arrived, as the air was clearly carrying quite a charge. The line was somewhat damp, as well. The first flash of lightning came as I was driving home, so I'm always extra careful now in such conditions.
  • edited June 2017
    You and Ben Franklin, a couple of Pennsylvania guys!

    Weird weather on the first day of summer here in The Great Pacific Northwest too. Snow at the Point Wilson Lighthouse!


    At least it looks like snow.
  • SueSue
    edited June 2017
    Good job you had your 'weather eye' open Jim!
    We happened to be at Menaham in Brittany, France on 21 June. The special thing to see is a house built into a large crevice in a very large rock on the North Breton coast. There was a lovely wind and parking close by. The video downlink and the radio control for the tilt worked (for a change). With Kens help for aiming we KAPtured a good series of photos.
    The sun was out as well but occasionally a low cloud / sea fog rolled in (reminiscent of San Francisco) and our view of the Levitation kite and tilt rig carrying the Ricoh GR dimmed as did the resulting photos.
    Later we added the Ricoh ThetaS 360 camera and concentrated on taking those photos with the GR still taking photos.
    We had another of Jim's "fun" days on the scenic coast, a kite and camera in the sky and sun. What more can you ask on holiday?

    Fly High

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