A collection of Ricardo Mendonça Ferreira’s amazing images taken by a camera dangling from a kite.
Aerial photography is one of the oldest genres in the photographic world. It’s normally accomplished by shooting from a hot air balloon, a plane or a helicopter, but due to its commercialisation in the form of real estate photography, more flexible solutions have been utilised. The easiest way to photograph something from an elevated angle (if no convenient structures are nearby) is to use a telescopic mast. These masts can reach heights of up to 40 meters, and many photographers use complex servo-based controls to manipulate the camera’s angle and zoom. Using a data cable, you can also view the pictures with a tethered notebook. Another technique is to use a radio-control helicopter. This requires a bit more talent in terms of actually being able to pilot the RC helicopter, but allows for more freedom in getting the best shot.
Ricardo Mendonça Ferreira uses a kite for his aerial photographs. Kites have been used for more than a century to get a camera into the air, but kite aerial photography is still a rather niche profession. The mechanisms required to attach a camera range from the simple – dangling a disposable camera from the line, with another line rigged to trigger the shutter – to the complex. Cameras can either be stabilised using a weight acting as a pendulum, or a Picavet suspension which makes use of a platform suspended from pulleys (see the last image below). You can read more about the history of kite aerial photography over at the Wikipedia article, and view some of Ricardo’s shots below.