I had a good time at Burning Dork this weekend, just a short bike ride away to a scout camp in Lancing (much less of a carbon footprint than flying to Nevada for Burning Man). It was my first chance to play with amateur aerial photography. Yesss!
From the advice of the lumniaries of kite aerial photography, I purchased a Sutton Flowform 16, and they’re right, it’s really easy to fly, very stable and has a lot of lift. I simply attached my Canon Powershot A60 to a bent coat hanger, and wrapped the line around that, and sent it up in video mode.
A really modest beginning. So many directions to go from here. First step will be to build a picavet, to keep the platform steady. Then wire up a timer to the powershot, to get higher definition photos — and I successfully soldered up a Picaxe microntoller in a workshop at camp, my first step out of software into physical computing and soldering — so I’m more confident to start hacking on my digital camera. When I was reviewing the footage, a couple people looked up into the sky, thinking the kite was photographing live, so rf transmitter and controller. Attach other sensors, like GPS. And move to other platforms like balloons and aerostats, to get some real height.
Besides being fun, I’m getting into this to push forward amateur remote sensing techniques and projects, like OpenAerialMap. This will be the next specialty of geospatial technology amateurized and commodotized, the applications are many and so important.