This research note is third in a series of research notes about my attempts as taking images in Vancouver, BC from a kite. You can read the previous research note here.
I really liked the Prism Stowaway kite that I lost due to kite string breakage during my first attempt at kite mapping, so I bought myself another one and made another attempt to capture some imagery from the sky. This time also had pretty strong winds, but having upgraded to 100 lb braided Dacron line ensured no kite lossage. Yay!
Being able to fold up the kite and stuff my kite in my backpack, I rode my bike to Vanier Park which is across False Creek from downtown and a popular place to fly kites.
One of my to-dos from my last attempt, was to confirm the very lax Canadian regulations on kite flying, which basically mean for un-moored kites, dont fly into cloud and in any way that endangers an aircraft. That's it. This means, you as a kiter with potentially no aviation knowledge, get to make judgement calls that affect the safety of passengers on aircraft. An email conversation with Transport Canada confirmed this. I think this is a pretty insane regulation however, since two sea planes flew very close to my kite string, at what I would guess to be about 500 feet - well underneath the height of my kite. There is a sea plane terminal a little over 2km away, so next time I go to Vanier Park to fly Kites, there is definitely going to be a call to air traffic control, or whoever is in charge of that airspace.
Unlike last time, Tina Time Lapse, the android app I was using to take pictures with, worked and I got about 450 pretty interesting pictures of part of downtown, Vanier Park, and Burrard Street Bridge.
The problem this time is that my attachment point for my camera rig slipped, so that all of the pictures are at an angle instead of straight down, which is ideal for mapping. Also, most images have distortion which I think is caused by slow shutter speeds, so next time I will experiment with the Sports 'Scene Mode' option (TTL has sparse documentation, so I am guessing that mode uses fast shutter speeds).
- Explicitly setting shutter speeds is ideal to reduce image distortion
- Canadian kite flying regulations are way too relaxed for the area I am flying my kite in
- Letting the carabiner slide freely along the string that the camera rig hangs from means that the carabiner can get stuck in such a way that the camera is tilted and not able to capture images facing straight down
- Test out Tina Time Lapse's Sports Scene Mode
- Set Tina Time Lapse to focus on infinity to reduce any unnecessary effort required by the app during flight
- Call air traffic control before flying kites at Vanier Park again
- Make a loop on the string that attaches the camera rig to the kite to attach the carabiner so that the it cant slide and get stuck in an unwanted position.
- Convince others to join me at kite mapping to make it more social, but also to enlist people to help reel the kite in, which takes at least 30 minutes and is a forearm workout.
Downtown Vancouver, looking toward Burnaby.
Granville Street Bridge.
Burrard Street Bridge.
Burrard Street Bridge, close up.
Some boats in False Creek.
A small piece of Vanier Park. Some pretty trees.