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World Wide KAP Week - Part 1: Brewster-Douglass Projects

Saturday, April 30, 2011:
Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects
After eating and shopping in Detroit's Eastern Market, I drove by the old, abandoned ruins of the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects on the opposite side of the freeway, eying it up for doing my Kite Aerial Photography (KAP). I circled around the complex, then parked and waited, looking for signs of activity that might indicate trouble. Once satisfied, I got out my gear, trudged across the uneven ground towards the remaining high-rise towers of the complex and started setting up my Rokkaku kite. While doing so, a couple of men with tools entered one of the towers and a little later, after my kite was in the air, I heard pounding as they were removing materials for scavenging. I kept glancing over to that tower to see if they would come out and approach me, however, I think scavengers want to keep as low a profile as possible.

The damp, uneven ground meant that I had to be careful of my footing as I moved around. The ground seemed like a few hundred vehicles had driven around on it while it was soft and, over the years, that has probably been the case. There was also a wet, muddy area I had to avoid when bringing down my rig and kite. Trees down-wind from me threatened to snag my kite and my KAP rig, but I managed to avoid them.

This was my longest single KAP session to date at over an hour of air time. I wasn't getting the altitude I wanted at first, so I brought the kite down, adjusted the bridle tow-point and sent it and the KAP rig back up. It worked, I got more lift from the kite, got the rig up higher and most of the shots that I have posted to Flickr were taken after the adjustment.

This also was probably my riskiest KAP in terms of the chance to get mugged, being in a rather isolated, derelict area. The freeway service drive that runs past there gets little traffic. KAPping in such circumstances is somewhat scary because you're a sitting duck when you have a kite in the air.

My Sony NEX-5 hasn't come back from repairs yet, so I'm still using my Canon A630 on a CHDK intervalometer in a hybrid auto-KAP rig using the Gentles clickPAN-IR ("peanut") for my NEX-5 to rotate it and with the tilt angle fixed.

Click here to view my set of photos from that day at
Or click here to browse the set of photos on a black background here at


Cool photos!I've also staterd doing some KAP around Brisbane recently.We built a Delta Conyne (9 foot), and I made a self-rotating rig with a little Jaycar 3v geared motor and using a Canon P&S camera. Hopefully try some shots up the Sunshine Coast tomorrow.

pqCrPbJFMRH - October 17, 2012 - 02:10:05

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