Saturday, June 11, 2011

World Wide KAP Project

The Kite Aerial Photography community forum started a project in September of 2009 where a large banner was created and started in the Netherlands. The goal for each person who has the banner is to sign it, and capture a photo of it using Kite Aerial Photography if possible. Then the banner is sent to the next person. So far, it's been to Europe and South America. I received the banner last week, and am the first person in the United States to get it. I think because I was the editor of the World Wide KAP Week book last year, I got preferential treatment. There are probably well over 100 people around the world that still have yet to see the banner, and it's my plan to hand it off to Craig Wilson in Madison on Sunday, June 12, 2011.

I was also fortunate enough to have a windy day on the first day I got the banner. With the help of my friend Mac, we met down on the lake shore of Lake Michigan by the Kenosha harbor lighthouse. It was extremly hot that day at 97 degrees, which was the reason for the southerly breezes. It was Mac's job to hang the banner from the lighthouse, while I drove to the other side of the canal, and launched my kite. I had stopped and picked up some additional magnets thinking that the banner would be easy to hang from the metal lighthouse. However, with layers and layers of paint, Mac explained that it was tricky, but barely hung on. Unfortunately, Mac who is also a photographer, forgot to put memory cards in his camera before heading out to the lighthouse, so we don't have any close ups of the banner on the lighthouse.

It was getting close to sunset, and boats were returning to the harbor, so I was lucky enough to capture a few boats as they went by. The winds were strong, and I chose a new Brooxes rig I had just bought for the Canon G11, and my lightweight rig for the GoPro. Here are some examples from the KAP session over the channel:

When the banner arrived from Argentina, the previous KAP'r put a postcard from Buenos Aires in the package along with the banner.

While I'm in possession of the banner, I thought I would try to capture images of it, even if it wasn't from a kite. I cleared out my living room, and set up my motion dolly to get high resolution images of the banner to stitch together in a giant panoramic image.
Click the banner to view high resolution image with signed comments from around the world.

I wasn't sure what I should put on the banner, but my wife Katie suggested that I use the boat wheel that we use at the UW Lifesaving Station as a logo, as my design. I put my forum name, the date, and my web address. I used fine point sharpies which should last, as a couple people did not use permanent markers and those comments will eventually fade away...

I decided that I wanted to take some more images of the banner before handing it off tomorrow, so I went to 2 of the Welcome to Wisconsin signs nearby. The one on highway 45 has a better backdrop and flowers planted and turned out nice. It's not Kite Aerial Photography, but a camera attached to the top of a painters pole to get that Aerial effect. When there is no wind, you find other options.

Once I release the banner, I probably won't see it again for at least 10 years, as it will take that long to get through the entire list of Kite Aerial Photographers. However, there is a flickr group where you can see images as people take them. This is a fun project, where each person has the creative task of getting a picture of the banner from a kite, somewhere in the world. Hopefully, as the start of the US tour, I've accomplished my goal and have represented Wisconsin well. I have a little side project that I've been working on while I've had the banner, and plan on posting that after I hand it off in Madison. Plus, who knows, I may get some additional inspiration tomorrow morning and get some more images. Since I'm meeting Craig Wilson for the first time tomorrow in person, hopefully, he'll sign my copy of Hanging by a Thread: A Kite's view of Wisconsin.

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