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Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island

edited February 2022 in General

Here is an image from my first KAP session. What you see is the town of Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

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I used a GoPro Hero 4 Black in conjunction with my 9ft Levitation Delta. The GoPro was shooting 1 frame every 5 seconds. Setting up the camera rig took a lot longer than I expected. I wrapped a GoPro wrist strap around my picavet to mount the camera though this thing was a bit fidgety. One nice thing about this velcro wrist strap is you can rotate the GoPro to change your shooting angle. Though unfortunately, you can't lock the rotating plate so I had to duct tape it in place. It was also tricky getting the right length of safety line (too long and it would dangle in front of the camera lens and if it was too short, it would pull hard on the picavet and would probably interfere with it's job.)

The wind had increased significantly when I was bringing the kite down. As it was getting into the turbulent air, the Levi took a dive. I followed the advice on this forum and let out line during the dive but that didn't stop it from crashing. Though perhaps if it was higher in the air, letting out line may have had a different outcome. It was already fairly close to the ground when it dived.


  • Dragonblade: An excellent result! Beautiful colours and scenery. Sorry to hear about the dreaded and familiar 'Delta Dive' but this is a lesson learned to bear in mind next time. Keep going and send us some more of your fantastic shots from Kangaroo island.

  • edited February 2022

    Wow, nice shot.
    We knew you could do it. Welcome to the friendly skies !
    Keep at it !

  • edited February 2022

    Thanks for the good words, Aeronaut and Paul. The delta dives have only been a fairly recent issue for me. I was flying my Levi Delta a lot last year and I never experienced any dives (except for one super slow, gentle dive.) I'm actually wondering if adding a fuzzy tail would reduce the chances of a dive.

    And yes, I will shoot more KAP images around Kangaroo Island. For my future sessions, I will mainly be shooting the island's natural scenery rather than urban scenes like the one above. There are many nice landscapes around Kangaroo Island which I'm sure would look great from the air. The above shoot was fairly straight forward - launching from a sports field / oval. However, my planned future shoots are going to be a fair bit more challenging and risky. I will be flying over the ocean and over trees etc.

  • Looking good.
    Glad you had success with KAP.
    As for the delta dives.... fairly normal when the kite gets close to the ground (~20 meters) due to ground turbulence.
    Enjoy the KAP.

  • Did you fly the GoPro with its protective housing?

  • At last!!! Well done, and I'm sure you'll soon have a lot more images to show. As WW says, there is always more turbulence near the ground (which is why it's a good idea to gain height quickly when launching). More practice will help in partly overcoming this and bringing your kite down safely, but at least you have a camera that can stand a fairly rough landing.

  • edited February 2022

    Thanks all.

    WW, yea it was an overall good session. The wind was a bit light to start off with so I had to use a long line launch to get the kite into the air.

    Ningaloo yea I used the GoPro in it's protective housing. Though the camera rig wasn't attached when the Levi took a dive.

    NZFlier, I am well aware that the air is more turbulent closer to the ground - as I pointed out above in my opening post. Check the second sentence of my second paragraph. I always anticipate this when I bring my kite down. It's also the reason why I always get my kite into the air quickly when I launch it. I have been flying the Levitation Delta for over a year. Though no matter how many times I fly this kite, I'm not really sure if there really is a completely safe way of bringing it down to the ground. It's always going to act erratically when it gets close to the ground due to turbulence so this seems unavoidable. Bringing it down quickly would minimise the amount of crazy behaviour but on this occasion, the wind had picked up a lot which created an incredibly strong pull so I was forced to wind the line in super slowly. I really regretted not having a spare carabiner with me to 'walk down' the kite.

  • Wind Watcher: Yes, we are all delighted that Dragonblade is at last airborne, hopefully with more great pictures to come. By the way, please don't forget to email me your home address and phone number so I can send you that promised package by courier. There is still nothing in my inbox.

  • dragonblade Well, after more than seven years I would certainly hope you were aware of ground turbulence. A good fuzzy tail adds more stability to most kites, including deltas, but even that isn't fully effective in the first few metres above ground level. It should, however, make the kite's overall descent more steady and thus help avoid a dive at all, and will make its flight more stable while you're filming. By a "good" fuzzy, I mean one with sufficient fabric to provide plenty of drag. Some are sold with very short strips of fabric which do little good at all.

  • edited February 2022

    NZFlier yea I was referring to using a fuzzy tail at higher elevations rather than near ground level. About a month ago or so, my kite was flying from side to side at a decently high altitude before it dived into the ground. I'm hoping that a fuzzy tail would help prevent or at least reduce that side to side movement and therefore reduce the chance of a dive. I did watch your video on fuzzy tails and it looked like they worked nicely in terms of adding stabilisation.

    Oh by the way, a family member tried to order a kite from up your way as a present to me some time back. A Nitehawk for doing KAP in high wind conditions. But due to New Zealand's current border restrictions, the cost of transporting the kite internationally would be increased significantly. So unfortunately had to cancel. When things return to normal, there might be another order under way.

  • Congrats, dragonblade! The picture looks great.

  • Let me add my congratulations too! Looking at Google Maps, Kangaroo Island looks like it offers lots of interesting KAP subjects. Can't
    wait for your next set of photos!

  • edited February 2022

    Thanks Montagdude and Dave. Oh yea there would be many great KAP opportunities on Kangaroo Island. I bet Little Sahara would look awesome from above. LS is basically a large area of sand hills and dunes here on the southern part of the island.

    And I could tell you how Kangaroo Island got it's name. Matthew Flinders, one of the early explorers of the island, hunted the local kangaroos with his men and consumed the meat. They tasted so good that he named the island after them.

  • dragonblade The fishing kites are from Auckland, which is about 1000km from where I am in Christchurch, but international postage from NZ is certainly prohibitive these days as well as very slow. I wonder if the prices and service will ever return to normal when the pandemic is over? Yes, fuzzy tails work well as you saw, and I use them quite often with certain kites. The KAP Foils which are quite popular now are sold with fuzzy tails attached.

  • edited December 2022

    During the cruise ship season, I set up a market stall for tourists from the passing ships. Among the things I sell are hand made greeting cards featuring my photographs. There was a market a few days ago and someone bought a card with the above KAP image. In actual fact, the market was held in the very same sports field / oval where the kite was launched from. Before the lady made the purchase, I told her that the photo was taken with a kite. She was quite surprised and said something along the lines of: "So it wasn't taken with a drone?" I confirmed that it was taken with a kite - a 9 ft kite. I also mentioned this in the description on the back of the card. I actually wonder if the kite flying aspect influenced her decision to buy the card. I think that's quite something that I got a sellable image from my very first KAP session. I now also have Covid - probably got it from the cruise ship market.

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