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First KAP of 2021

edited January 3 in General

There is a lake near where I live that I have been wanting to photograph for awhile. It is called St. Mary's Lake, which is in St. Mary's River State Park in Maryland. The park was closed for several months due to Covid and renovations.

The day started off a little disappointing, because the weather report called for 7-10 mph winds in the morning, but it actually ended up being less than 5. During the afternoon, the wind picked up to about 10 mph for a little while, so I decided to take the chance to head over there and see if it would hold. When I got there, it seemed pretty calm again, but I hiked over to the place I planned to fly with my kite bag, rig, and bag-o'-rocks that I use to hold down the reel while I attach and detach the rig. Thankfully, there was still just enough wind (about 5-7 mph) to get my big barn door kite into the air without any trouble. Soon I had attached the camera, started the intervalometer script, and it was away. It turned out my timing was just right, because by the time I was done flying about 40 minutes later, it was almost completely calm below treetop level.

The gentle breeze made it a very relaxing session. The kite was not pulling too hard, which meant it was okay that I had forgotten to bring gloves (woops), and many of the 400 pictures turned out level and in focus since it was nice and stable. Unfortunately, since I was shooting towards the line this time, a lot of the pictures ended up focused on the line, but I still got plenty properly focused on the landscape. Plus, that made it easier to choose which ones to delete.

I didn't bring my good camera to take pictures of the kite, so this is the only one I got of the kite in the air. It was taken with my phone while the kite was out on 700 feet of line, but if you zoom in you can see the blue and yellow kite way up high. The big kite got a lot of positive comments from hikers going by, especially kids. I'm sure it was visible from a long distance, if they happened to look in the right direction.

Here are a few of my favorite aerial photos from the session. This first one is from low altitude, showing the flying site, hikers, and my kite bag on the ground.

Probably my favorite one of the session, looking towards the west end of the lake.

The north end of the lake with me in view. By this time the wind had died down at ground level, producing nice sky reflections in the water.


  • Nice! Always good to hear someone had a relaxing KAP session ... no crazy pull crushing hands, no trees trying to eat the kite, no sudden dives into the water ...

    Cool photos and the 2021 season is now officially open! :-)

  • edited January 3

    Yeah, it was very welcome considering the last time out my kite was pulling so hard that it took me an hour to get it up (not even to the end of the line), another hour to get it back down, and the winder almost slipped out of my hands more than once! Let's hope this is a sign of good things to come this year.

  • My first KAP session was also above water - Sand Island, Chesapeake Bay. Access via a fun frostbite sail down the Susquehanna River to the Chesapeake Bay. Fun day with a sailing and KAPing.


    Hobie Island Frostbite Sail

    Kite Over Sand Island

  • edited January 4

    Nice one! Seems like a fun, albeit cold, adventure. The wave patterns around the island look cool. Here's one from the other end of the Chesapeake Bay where it's warmer. :) Technically, it doesn't count as 2021 KAP since it was taken a few days before the New Year.

  • montagdude Can you not set your camera's focus manually on infinity and avoid the problems with it focusing on the line? All of your photos are at infinity or as near as makes no difference.

  • It does. I was looking for that setting before, but in the wrong spot. I'll probably give that a try next time I shoot towards the string.

  • Witney, Oxfordshire, England. I had a brief KAP session on 2 January, under darkening skies with barely enough wind to keep the 2.4m rokkaku in the air, I flew a cheap actioncam as a test, thinking about a new rig. A large c.200 year old Cedar of Lebanon tree has recently been cut down in the churchyard, opening up the view of the medieval church from the from the south, something I'll look at closer with a better camera on a nicer day.

  • Good to see people out and about.
    I'm getting softer as I get older and can't face winter KAP (unless it is snowing, then I'll make the effort).

  • So after saying I was too soft for winter KAP, today I went out!!! Below is a screenshot of a partial 360 view. Click this link for the full Kuula experience.

    It was a rare outing for my custom Dan Leigh delta which meant I also needed my lightest line which happens to be on my KAPiFrance winder. The wind averaged just 4-5 knots according to the airport stats. The result was a gentle rollercoaster of ups and downs as the kite struggled to keep about 200g (Theta Z1 plus picavet) in the air.

    Now I've got a first flight out of the way, I'm going to try to KAP once per week. The fresh air was great and Guernsey winters don't tend to stay too cold for too long.

    KAPi France 2013 Winder in 2021
    Tower 4 - KAP 01-2021

  • For my second KAP of the year I took some pictures of my neighborhood. I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but with the places I have to fly the conditions have to be just right for it to work. My mini dopero braved gusts over 20 mph to get this picture. That's two sessions in two weeks for me, and four in three weeks. I doubt I will keep up this pace all year though.

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