Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Shopping Cart Sculpture
Albany, California

On the left is a plan view of a shopping cart in the tidal muck. This is what I imagined photographing as I wandered toward the racetrack. On the right is a distant view of more shopping carts that formed my serendipitous discovery. (Canon 24-mm, May 2000)

As the 2000 Spring Semester drew to a blissful close I found myself prowling the Albany, California waterfront looking for subjects to photograph. This stretch of shoreline on the San Francisco Bay is host to a large horse racing track. It also sports a sizable peninsula built of construction debris trucked to the bay and dumped along the shore. This landscape of rebar and concrete, tires and rubble provides paths out into the bay and opportunities for birding and solitude. As I walked down the peninsula's main path I came across a sculpture made of old shopping carts. 

Closer views of the braced arch that an anonymous artist made of grocery store shopping carts. Shadows play an integral role in this composition (Canon 24-mm, May 2000)

I was immediately taken with this sculpture. The carts had been carefully wired together and anchored to the ground with rebar stakes. What had perhaps been a simple arch -- made using the keystone cross-section of the carts -- had been buttressed by the addition of a second arch at a 90 angle. The arch provided sufficient clearance to allow folks to walk underneath. Kudos to the creator of this post-consumer (one hopes) gateway to the San Francisco Bay.

More abstract views of the cart sculpture. It was interesting to see how integral the shadow pattern became when the assembly was viewed from above (Canon 24-mm, May 2000)

My favorite views of the arch are close shots in which the carts and shadows play almost interchangeable and complimentary roles. It required about two hours of patient but pleasant waiting to get the shots due to a general absence of wind. Having discovered the arch I hiked back to the car to get my lightest wind kite -- a carbon fiber-framed Rokkaku. For the first hour the kite would only fly intermittently without a load. Later a small breeze set in and I was able to coax the camera into the air for brief periods of photography. I am glad I did.

An oblique view featuring humans, and dogs, for scale (Canon 24-mm, May 2000)

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