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An Easy way to get into KAP with Go-Pro

Kite Aerial Photography, know as KAP, has been around for a very long time.  The earliest that I’m aware of is with a French Military Kite that was used to hoist a camera and spy on the enemy, or hot air balloons being used as early as the Civil War.  Through the evolution of kites, one thing that’s never changed is the need for the kites to be light enough to be lifted by wind and most of the earlier ones needed LOTS OF WIND!  Neither Eliot nor I have yet jumped into KAP, though we did get our toes wet with daughter Cassie’s efforts.  We ended up getting a basic kit from Brooxes that included a rig to hang the camera from the kite line along with a servo to trigger her camera.

Now the questions we receive are geared toward the GoPro cameras.  These devises are light weight and come in a water-proof case – both are absolutely necessary for any applications in this area!  Beyond that, and for a more experienced perspective, I asked Dave Wheeler who’s been involved in KAPing for a number of years.

This is what Dave had to say:

“The nice thing about GoPro’s – they can shoot at intervals automatically, so that eliminates some electronics to trigger the thing. If you want to aim it straight down or in a fixed direction, just hang it from the line and you’re done. Since GoPro’s are small and light, I’ve seen them attached directly to the kite, too! If you want it to pan around and/or tilt, some sort of rig is needed, like the brooxes BEAK kit.

I’ve been a bit out of it lately with respect to KAP. You might want to direct these questions to the KAP Forum — very helpful bunch of people there, too.  http://kite.org/activities/aerial-photography/ & http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/discuss/

 

From the GoPro site, these are the basics I could find for Kite mounts and ideas.  LOTS of ideas are on the web for scratch-built versions, some costing very little.

 

First, alot of the Kiteboarders use this:  

 

From the Rev Forum I found this:Posted Image

 

The point of all these pictures is to show a token of ways to attach a GoPro to a kite.  A simple and clean mount and attachment for a variety of styles of kites is still in its infancy.  But I can offer a few rules to remember:
1 – you’ll have to have enough wind to lift the kite you’re using with the extra weight and drag.
2 – perhaps use an old single line light trick – attach the GoPro securely (tape, extra line for security) to just below the attachment point for the line to the kite.  Make sure the GoPro is pointed in the general direction that you want the pictures.  (who wants a bunch of pictures of clear blue skies??)
3 – if on a sport kite, it must be centered for the kite to be balanced.
4 – test before launching :)
As with most things in kiting – there isn’t a right way or a wrong way.  If you have some successes, share them with us.  If you have some failures, share them as well.  Above all, just get out there and have some fun.

5 Responses so far.

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  3. admin says:

    Thanks to All of you for kind and encouraging words. Once Eliot and I get the store up to ‘high season speed’ we’ll take turns posting more blogs.

    In the meantime, Thanks again and Go Fly Kites!
    Cath

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