We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Aerial Kite Photography?

By Stefanie Spikell
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports n' Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Aerial kite photography uses remote sensing to collect information in picture form. It is actually a very old form of remote sensing since kites were used to take aerial pictures in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This was done for military reconnaissance, disaster assessment, and scientific purposes. Once aircraft became more common in the 1930s, aerial kite photography lessened in popularity.

Aerial kite photography uses the lifting power of a kite to provide an aerial platform for a camera. With the camera in the air, there is a unique and refreshing view of the earthbound subjects. This type of photography gives the most profound images from heights below what an aircraft could provide. Since the kite flies low, the viewer sees clear figures, buildings and the environment from a human scale with recognizable features, unlike photos taken from much higher elevations and much faster speeds.

In one method of launching, the kite is first flown without the camera system. Once it has risen and achieved a steady state above ground turbulence, a radio-controlled camera system is attached to the kite line. Then, the line is let out further and it carries the kite and camera further skyward. The operator can now walk around and direct the kite line by hand, move the camera with the control system, and snap photographs.

The components of a typical aerial kite photography system include:

  • A fairly large kite about 10 feet in span.
  • Strong kite string, often braided Dacron.
  • A compact camera.
  • A radio control to trigger the camera. Alternatively, the camera can be set to take pictures at predefined intervals.
  • A suspension system to attach the rig to the kite line and stop the inevitable swinging and swaying movements.
  • A means of moving the camera remotely in two or three axes, called the rig. Some systems rely on a fixed camera mounting; the camera positioning is achieved with the remarkable controlability of modern multi-line kites.

Since the early 1990s, aerial kite photography has become a popular sporting pastime as well as being used for commercial and scientific purposes. Some of the reasons for the resurging popularity of this method of photography include:

  • A rebirth of the enjoyment of high-performance sport-kite flying.
  • Development of low-cost, light-weight, automatic cameras of high quality.
  • Need for low-altitude observations in situations where manned aircraft cannot operate well.
  • Low-cost alternative to conventional airplane or helicopter aerial photography.
Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By pashminu — On Jan 16, 2013

As an industrial photographer, it would be ideal to have something like this for various locations.

Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.