is the technique of shooting low-altitude aerial photos by connecting
a camera to a kite line.
This technique was invented in 1886, long before the Wright
brothers' first flight in 1903.
For information in Italian on the history of KAP refer to Andrea
Casalboni's excellent website.
Of course with the advent of the aircraft KAP was almost abandoned.
Today, thanks to the evolution of techniques and materials,
and particularly with the development of digital photography,
KAP is becoming popular again as a hobby/art as an alternative
to taking low cost aerial photographs.
There are many variants of KAP but they all have one basic principle
in common - that the camera itself flies and it is controlled
from a specific radio station on the ground. In line with these
trends a new acronym: CAP (Cheap Aerial Photography) is now
being used. CAP combines all the techniques used in aerial photography
without having to hire a plane or helicopter. Furthermore, we
can therefore operate at low
Here is a quick overview of several techniques of launching
the rig and its features.
As for the ground control of the camera, see the section on
is usually made of aluminium and can reach a height of 20-30
can carry a fairly heavy rig, is not subject to wind, can be
grounded thereby eliminating radio interference problems, no
running cost, no flying skills required, flight safety.
limited flight altitude, very bulky heavy equipment, viewpoint
strongly dependent on the installation point.
The pole lends itself very well to photo coverage of events
when recognizable close-ups are desirable but higher
viewpoints are required (eg weddings, processions, festivals,
sports events, etc...) This can also be used in photography of individual
refer to various types of kite - almost always single-line kites
with surface areas from 2 to 10 sqm. allowing flight in light
can reach very interesting heigths (teoretically up to 200 mt.)
no running cost, limited flyng skills required, can carry medium
weight rig, takes up limited space.
Fairly regular wind on land is needed, requires a certain manoeuvring
space on the ground, viewpoint is quite dependent on point of installation.
particularly effective in open spaces and natural environments
balloon (moored flight)
referring to balloons one should make a distinction between
those which work only in perfectly calm wind conditions and
those that can operate even in the presence of sustained winds.
The simplest type of balloon consists of a spherical ball. It
is very sensitive to wind and even with a slight breeze, it
can be pushed laterally and/or down. Airships, which are stable
and reliable in the presence of wind, are much more effective.
There are also mixed systems (kite + balloon) such as l’Helikite
which combine helium and wind pressure.
The latter category is more suitable for aerial photo:
can operate with no wind and in populated areas, can reach very
interesting heights(theoretically up to 200 meters.) Limited
flying skills required, can carry a medium weight rig, requires
no room to manoeuvre on land, flight safety.
cannot operate in strong winds. Viewpoint is quite dependent
on point of installation, heavy cumbersome equipment, operating
ideal for shooting in residential areas in complete safety.
category includes airplanes and RC helicopters.
In general, these techniques require significantly more developed
flying skills. They do not allow shooting of valuable aerial
photographs unless using professional-type UAV systems
They also present considerable problems in terms of safety and
regulatory constraints, making them difficult to use in built-up
"microdone", however, is another story. This has brilliantly
addressed and solved many problems of RC vehicles. These vehicles
require no special flying skills because they are self-balancing
and their position is monitored by GPS.
This makes them much safer and more reliable than traditional
aircraft and helicopters: http://www.microdrones.co.uk/)
still remains some doubt about the load ability necessary for
the achievement of professional photos and its flight reliability,
considering that flights count on radio frequencies which, to
eliminate interference risks, must be operated on 'Amateur Extra'