Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Others
Simon Harbord hefting a new arrival (75K jpg)
A Note from Benton: One of the
delightful experiences associated with my KAP WWW pages has been
the e-mail that comes my way as people discover the web site.
During February 1996 I received a number of posts from Simon
Harbord, a kite aerial photographer now living in Scotland. In
these messages Simon described his equipment and approach to KAP,
an exposition I found greatly entertaining. I've assembled the
following pages, with Simon's permission, using text and images
culled from the e-mail exchange. Thus the following thoughts,
text, equipment design, and images are the work of Simon Harbord
(my minor comments will be italicized). We hope you enjoy the
QUICK LINKS to other
Simon Harbord Pages:
Simon's KAP Rig
A Gallery Page of Simon's KAP Images
A Contemporary Gallery of Castles and History
A Contemporary Gallery of Abstracts and Objects
Simon's Guiding Light (an aiming device)
A Tree Tale
FIRST CONTACT (something of a teaser)
Hello there, I keep popping in to look at your pages, and love the stuff you've put on the Web. I am very much an internet neophyte, but the KAP stuff finally triggered me into response. Back in 1986 I set up a small business "skyshots" in the UK doing balloon aerial photography using 15 foot helium blimp. System worked fine when the weather was fine. (never was though).
So I got around to redesigning for kites. Essentially worked alone for a couple of years developing systems as a hobby, (I used to work offshore for the real money, the aerial photography was a hobby business.) Anyway after a while I had, after many dead ends, a robust system that solved a few KAP problems.
I ultimately took on an office job and the system ended up stashed away, unused since then. I took the rig out the other day, and thought - I should at least give others the opportunity to gain some of what I learned the hard way.
From what I've seen of your pages, it looks like KAP is much as I left it, most people having a great time with idiosyncratic rigs. Many approaches to all the usual problems and a real spirit of innovation. The system I developed had the following controls out of a 2 channel radio system.
Anyway, I have still got all my working drawings, circuit diagrams equipment lists etc,. and I guess its time I shared some of it if you have anyone you know that might be interested.
I used to be very much the loner
in my development, and only met Tom Pratt, one of the UK KAPers
about 4 months before I finished and moved up to Scotland. I
never did publish any of my designs or correspond with any other
KAPers, I didn't even hear of KAPWA until too late. It was only
this year when I saw the great stuff you were sharing with the
world that I thought, "why not tell others. "
Simon Harbord's bucolic setting (69K jpg)
Since we moved to Scotland nearly
6 years ago the rig has languished in the shed, gathering a bit
of rust and general dust and uncared-for-look. When I think of
the work that went into it, it seems wrong. We now live (my
partner Sue and I - daughter Carly at Aberdeen University) on a
70 acre farm close to the village of Tullynessle, near Alford,
about 30 miles west of Aberdeen. I can't believe that six years
have gone by without using the KAP rig, the farm is a perfect
subject itself, along with all the other farms, castles and
A bit of background biographical stuff for your interest I work for Conoco in Aberdeen, home of the North Sea offshore oil industry. I spent several years working offshore as a chemist (originally a biologist) before moving into the Aberdeen office as an Environmental scientist. Never did take a KAP photo of an oil platform, I often thought about it, but like so many things, never got round to it.
We breed horses on the farm, have a few sheep and a veritable horde of cats.
The next page - a description of
Simon's KAP rig.
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Comments to author: firstname.lastname@example.org . All content,
images contained throughout are Copyright (C) 1995 - 2005 by Charles C. Benton
and are protected by United States and International copyright laws.
No text, graphic or image may be used whole or in part, individually,
or as part of a derivative work without express written permission.
Source materials copyright
(C) 1997 by Simon Harbord
All rights reserved. Revised: Saturday, June 26, 2010