Yesterday was perfect for testing out if my idea would work in real life. A steady wind coming in from the north by northeast, sunny and the mercury climbing to significant heights everything was set up nicely for my little experiment. Leaving work early is also a good thing when it comes to flying.
Based on the forecasted wind direction, I’d done some virtual travelling using Google Maps to find a suitable flying location and I came up with this nice looking spot – Kureskjæret – exposed to the forecasted wind direction.
So after a five minutes walk from the parking I was on location. It looked promising. I could do my flying off from a somewhat weathered jetty and fly the Rokkaku partly over the water and partly over the land. Yes, now was the time!
I assembled the kite, rolled out the line and got it flying. And then the wind decided to die down. I had to quickly take in the line to avoid the kite from landing in the middle of the water. I barely made it, just dipping its tails into the wet stuff. Hmmm…. this didn’t look too promising after all. However, the wind picked up again, from a slightly different direction this time, but at least strong enough to lift the Rokkaku. Would it be sufficient to lift the KAP rig and the camera too Yes, it was, even though being a little lighter than optimal.
OK, this was my plan…. First flying both the kite and the KAP-rig quite high in the air before gently pulling in the line making sure it ended up nicely on the ground without any snags or twists. I pulled in the line until the KAP-rig was hanging just a mere meter or so (three’ish feet) over the surface of the water. Then on Three-Two-One-Go, I’d let out the line again – swiftly – so that the kite rather than take off, would just go downwind without gaining height, thus pulling the KAP-rig and the camera downwind too, just a meter or so above the surface. Thus resembling a drone going low over the water.
I was exited to see if it was possible to do. And here are a handful of examples!
As you can see from the examples in this video, faking a drone shot using KAP-gear is definitely possible! I just have to do some more practice and fine-tune my technique! …and use a quality line winder when letting out the line.
In (especilly the two first attempt) the footage is not as smooth as I’d like it to be. I believe this is caused by not manageing to give out the flying line smoothly. I used my hands (gloves off course!) to ‘balance’ the feeding of the line, but I guess feeding the line using a line winder with an adjustable brake will smoothen the line feed significantly.
Secondly, I could use a bit more wind than I got yesterday. When the wind is on its lower side – like yesterday – I had to stop the line feed at times to prevent the kite from dropping. This will lead to a somewhat “stuttering” line feed and that’s not a good thing when you’re after a smooth shot! In higher winds, I can feed the line more consistently thus getting a smoother result.
So, what are the lessons learned?
Well, like said in the video, three tings actually?
- Yes, it is definitely possible to fake a drone shot using KAP-gear!
- A proper line winder will surely smoothen the line feed adding smoothness to the footage
- Enough wind preventing the kite from dropping while feeding the line
Now, all I have to do is wait for this to arrive…
…and then go out and give it another go when the wind is right!
Oh yeah! A quick explanation of the featured image! I let out the line a little too quick for the low winds, so the KAP-rig took a little dip into the sea! Thankfully the GoPro is waterproof so no damage was done! 😉