Kite Aerial Photography of India…

The BBC has provided some excellent KAP photos of India. The photos were taken by Nicolas Chorier, details of his rig and photos are below.

Nicolas Chorier is a Frenchman who specialises in “kite photography”. This image of the Jama Masjid in Delhi appears in a new book, Kite’s Eye View: India Between Earth and Sky, published by Roli Books.

Chorier makes 40-sq-foot kites from siliconised nylon and carbon or fibreglass rods. The camera sits in a cradle on a line beneath the kite, and can be raised to 1,000ft (300m). Chorier says lower altitudes are “more interesting”.

Chorier uses a Canon 5D camera and the whole rig can weigh about 2kg, with lens and extra battery. The camera cradle operates by remote control and can achieve a 360-degree rotation and 90-degree tilt.

Chorier uses an air-to-ground video link to provide real-time monitoring on a portable TV for accurate framing. “Once I feel my kite flying nicely, I rig up my camera on the line about 100 feet below the kite.”

Kite and camera can then be flown up to the required height. Chorier carries the remote control on his shoulder and the video monitor around his neck. He walks and raises and lowers the kite for shooting angles.

“Sometimes the kite comes down, but as the sail of the kite is big, it parachutes or glides down slowly. I have lost one camera, dropping it in the Yamuna river behind the Taj Mahal,” says Chorier.

“I have shot thousands of pictures above India. I love India, its sounds, smells, colours, people. Shooting India is so rewarding to my senses,” Chorier says.

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