KAP 2013-6 – Hervey Bay Boat Club, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia

Aerial photograph, Hervey Bay Boat Club, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Aerial photograph, Hervey Bay Boat Club, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

A recent four week trip to Australia provided several opportunities for kite aerial photography. Hervey Bay was the town where we stayed to enable a day trip to Fraser Island. Hervey Bay itself is quite a nice place and would have merited a longer stay. I did get time to have a KAP session at the Hervey Bay Boat Club before leaving. The boat club is in Urangan Harbour. This was my 5th kite aerial photography session of this trip to Australia.

These photographs were taken using a remote-controlled camera suspended below a kite line (Kite Aerial Photography – KAP).

Aerial photograph, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Aerial photograph, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Aerial photograph, Hervey Bay Boat Club, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Aerial photograph, Hervey Bay Boat Club, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Visit my website gallery KAP 2013-6 – Hervey Bay Boat Club, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia to see more images from this session.

Images from this session are available for licensing through Latitude Image, a stock photography agency specializing in aerial stock images. Click the website gallery link above for more information.

© Rob Huntley PhotographySTOCK Photography / Like My Facebook /

KAP 2012-4 & KAP 2012-5 – Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico

Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Offshore islands. Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Offshore islands. Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

I did two kite aerial photography sessions several days apart at opposite ends of the beach named Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico. Playa El Palmar is the nearest beach to Casa Candiles, the Bed and Breakfast where we stayed during our vacation. The B&B is about 10 minutes walk from the public access near the south end of the beach (beside the Barcelo Hotel). There are no small hotels or B&Bs on the beach as you will see from the photographs. The buildings are large hotels and condominium complexes.

These images were obtained using a camera suspended below a kite line (Kite Aerial Photography – KAP). Each of the two sessions was with autoKAP, whereby the camera was triggered every 8 to 10 seconds while making a stepwise slow 360 degree rotation. The wind was not strong enough to lift my fully remote-controlled rig.

During the first session on February 16, 2012, I explored the southern end of the beach with my aerial camera. Photos from that session can be viewed in the KAP 2012-4 Gallery.

The second session was on February 22, 2010 and I explored the northern end of the beach, including Marina Ixtapa which is somewhat inland and connected to the Pacific Ocean by a channel. Photos from the second session can be viewed in the KAP 2012-5 Gallery.

In this posting I have included a mix of photos from the two sessions. All of these images are in an around Playa El Palmar.

Hotel Barcelo. Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Hotel Barcelo. Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Marina Ixtapa. Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Marina Ixtapa. Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Photographer on the beach. Yours truly, just a speck on the beach. Kite line is visible in this image. Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

Photographer on the beach. Yours truly, just a speck on the beach. Kite line is visible in this image. Low-level aerial photograph. Playa El Palmar, Ixtapa, Mexico.

© Rob Huntley Photography / Like My Facebook / About.Me

Aerial Photographs of Brockville, Ontario. The marina at Blockhouse Island.

Three images from my recent kite aerial photography session at Blockhouse Island in Brockville, Ontario are new to my Getty Images portfolio:

Aerial Views of the marina at Blockhouse Island in Brockville, Ontario.

These aerial pictures were taken from a camera rig suspended below a kite (Kite Aerial Photography – KAP).

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario - Kite Aerial Photography

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario - Kite Aerial Photography

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario - Kite Aerial Photography

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario - Kite Aerial Photography

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario - Kite Aerial Photography

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario - Kite Aerial Photography

Click on any of the image to go to the same image in my Getty Images portfolio.

© Rob Huntley Photography

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KAP 2011-17 – Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario – October 31, 2011

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

During this session my Levi Light tasted the St. Lawrence River.

I was in Brockville, Ontario for a few hours of KAP at Blockhouse Island. There was virtually zero wind when I arrived, so after deciding on my best launch location should the wind pick up, I went for a walk to check out nearby Hardy Park. When I came back the wind seemed sufficient for autokap so I launched my Levi Light. I stood for about 5 minutes with the kite at about 200′ to see if the wind was going to be stable and continual. It seemed strong enough to hang the rig but I was concerned the kite was angling to the left pointing to about 11:00 o’clock. It seemed stable otherwise but I thought it best to bring it down to check it. As I was bringing it down with still about 100′ of line out it suddenly arched from angling left to a right hand turn and straight down into a vertical dive. Normally there would be ample time to recover by letting line out but no luck with that. Straight down it went into the river and I would guess it continued to fly to about 30′ depth under water. People arriving then would have thought I was fishing for sturgeon considering the amount of pull on the line from a large kite flying underwater in one of the largest rivers in the world. Fortunately no camera was involved in the swimming exercise.

I eventually retrieved the kite and checked it out and it seemed fine. So it is a mystery to me and all I can think is obnoxious wind. However, I immediately put my FLED on and it flew fine with autokap and after a 1/2 hour I switched to my remote rig. In the end I obtained a few decent shots.

These images were taken with a remote controlled camera suspended below a kite line. (Kite Aerial Photography – KAP)

Aerial photograph - Saint Lawrence River at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial photograph - Saint Lawrence River at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial photograph - Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial photograph straight down abstract view of the Blockhouse Island Parkway, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial photograph straight down abstract view of the Blockhouse Island Parkway, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial photograph - The Boardwalk condominium block , the being built Tall Ships Landing waterfront condominiums and the site of the future Maritime Discovery Centre. The Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial photograph - The Boardwalk condominium block , the being built Tall Ships Landing waterfront condominiums and the site of the future Maritime Discovery Centre. The Marina at Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial view of Rob and Ted, Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

Aerial view of Rob and Ted, Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario.

Thanks to Ted for the encouragement to go to Blockhouse Island with him and for his assistance during the session.

You can see additional pictures in the Kite Aerial Photography Gallery – Blockhouse Island, Brockville, Ontario – October 31, 2011.

© Rob Huntley

Park Walk Abstract – Kite Aerial Photography (KAP)

New in my Getty Images portfolio:
Autumn Country Sky

Straight down aerial abstract of pathways and road at Nepean Sailing Club at Dick Bell Park in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
This picture was taken from a camera rig suspended below a kite (Kite Aerial Photography – KAP).

Park Walk Abstract - Kite Aerial Photography (KAP)

Click on image to go to the same image in my Getty Images portfolio.

RobHuntley.ca

Aerial View of Sailboats at the Nepean Sailing Club

3 additions to my Getty Images portfolio:
Click on image to go to the same image in my Getty Images portfolio.

Aerial view of sailboats at Nepean Sailing Club at Dick Bell Park in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. These images were taken using Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) – a remote-controlled camera rig is suspended below a kite line.

Aerial view of sailboats at Nepean Sailing Club at Dick Bell Park in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Nepean Sailing Club at Dick Bell Park in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Nepean Sailing Club at Dick Bell Park in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Click on image to go to the same image in my Getty Images portfolio.
RobHuntley.ca

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic – Lunenburg, NS – Postcard

Here’s my new postcard design of the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. This building is a Nova Scotia icon. This aerial view was taken from a camera rig suspended below a kite (Kite Aerial Photography – KAP).

The postcard is offered for sale in my Zazzle store. Click on the postcard to go straight to page.

© Rob Huntley

museum art / museum photos / museum greeting cards

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia – Postcard

Here’s a new postcard design for Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. It is an aerial shot of the fishing community of Lunenburg from the wharf at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. This picture was taken from a camera rig suspended below a kite (Kite Aerial Photography – KAP). The postcard is offered in my Zazzle store.

© Rob Huntley

How to Make Tiny Town Miniatures!

This post demonstrates a process known as “Fake Tilt-Shift” carried out in PhotoShop or other image editing software.

After a mere two weeks of playing with the creation of these miniatures, I don’t imagine I’ve become an expert yet. However, I took the opportunity to share what I’d learned with my camera club, the Camera Club of Ottawa, and since I had done the work to prepare the slides I’m posting them here for anyone’s benefit. What follows are a few examples of the results of applying the technique and then subsequent to that I’ve included a short demo of how to create a miniature using PhotoShop CS.

I also have a separate photo gallery where I am adding my own creations over time. Please see TinyTown – (Fake Tilt-Shift Images).

This process has nothing to do with tilting or shifting anything. The name is derived from the fact that there is an in-camera technique that has been around for awhile for creating similar effects using a lens called a tilt-shift lens. We are using PhotoShop to create fakes; hence the name Fake Tilt-Shift.

Basically we are reducing the depth of field to create an illusion that the photograph was taken on a tabletop using model railroad miniatures or similar objects. The process tends to work better on scenes where there is a downward angle on the subject. It is through my Kite Aerial Photography that networking colleagues made me aware of this technique, pointing out that certain of my images might make a good “fake tilt-shift” image. However, the techinique is not limited to aerial shots, and not necessarily to shots where there is a downward view. The example I’ve chosen to demonstrate with, the train lines next to Vancouver harbour, is a compromise. It is not an aerial shot, but it is taken from the raised elevation of the adjacent promenade.

If you would prefer to view a version of this presentation where you can enlarge the images, please go to the How to Make Tiny Town Miniatures! gallery on my website.

Fisherman's Cove in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The low level aerial photograph of the line of shops is ideally suited for a Fake Tilt-Shift Miniature. The houses take on the appearance of Parker Bros. Monopoly figures and even the people look artificial. The background has been thrown out of focus plus the colour saturation has been greatly boosted to give the objects a plastic-like, toy-like appearance.
The title slide is of Fisherman’s Cove in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The low level aerial photograph of the line of shops is ideally suited for a Fake Tilt-Shift Miniature. The houses take on the appearance of Parker Bros. Monopoly figures and even the people look artificial. The background has been thrown out of focus plus the colour saturation has been greatly boosted to give the objects a plastic-like, toy-like appearance.
View the original aerial photograph.

Again, a low level aerial photograph proves ideal for making a miniature of the Atlantic Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
Again, a low level aerial photograph proves ideal for making a miniature of the Atlantic Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. In this example, both the foreground and background are thrown out of focus and the colour saturation enhanced to give the toy house appearance to the museum.
View the original aerial photograph.

The original image for this example was shot from the roadside in a very slightly elevated position. The rising hills in the background may add to the affect by eliminating the horizon.
The original image for this example was shot from the roadside in a very slightly elevated position. The rising hills in the background may add to the effect by eliminating the horizon.

This red car is in a roundabout or traffic circle in Conwy, Wales. The shot was taken from the wall of Conwy Castle adjacent to the road.
This red car is in a roundabout (traffic circle) in Conwy, Wales. The shot was taken from the wall of Conwy Castle adjacent to the road.
View the original photograph.

This is a fake tilt-shift of the Champlain Bridge over the Ottawa River between Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec. This is a unique angle of the bridge, obtained through Kite Aerial Photography.
This is a fake tilt-shift of the Champlain Bridge over the Ottawa River between Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec. This is a unique angle of the bridge, obtained through Kite Aerial Photography (KAP). Note how just a few cars and the surrounding bridge and lamp posts are kept in focus while the foreground and background are out of focus.
View the original aerial photograph.

This is a fake tilt-shift of the former EB Eddy mill on the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario. Again, the original low level aerial picture was obtained from a remote-controlled camera suspended below a kite.
This is a fake tilt-shift of the former EB Eddy mill on the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario. Again, the original low level aerial picture was obtained from a remote-controlled camera suspended below a kite. The orientation of the wall face of the mill being roughly the same distance from the camera makes it an ideal subject for retaining the focus of the whole building while throwing the rest of the picture out of focus.
View the original aerial photograph.

This is a Tiny Town version of the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, Ontario. It is a heritage building also known as the Cattle Castle as a consequence of livestock fairs being held there.
This is a “Tiny Town” version of the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, Ontario. It is a heritage building also known as the “Cattle Castle” as a consequence of livestock fairs being held there.
View the original aerial photograph.

This covered bridge is found on Chemin Cross Loop south of Wakefield, Québec. It is not to be confused with the larger covered bridge just to the north of Wakefield. Again, the foreground and background have been blurred to shorten the apparent depth of field and the red colour of the bridge has been saturated to the point of synthetic toy look-alike.
This covered bridge is found on Chemin Cross Loop south of Wakefield, Québec. It is not to be confused with the larger covered bridge just to the north of Wakefield. Again, the foreground and background have been blurred to shorten the apparent depth of field and the red colour of the bridge has been saturated to the point of synthetic toy look-alike.
View the original aerial photograph.

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Demo Slide 1
Demo Slide 1 (Larger images available with website version.)

To demonstrate the creation of a fake tilt-shift miniature I’m using an image that any photographer might have taken without the assistance of aerial photography. It was taken in Vancouver, British Columbia at the harbour port. Rail lines and trains are particularly good for this technique. Most of us have seen model railroads before and the result of miniaturizing this scene should give the sense that the shot was taken in the basement of a train-a-holic.

I have an older version of PhotoShop, PhotoShop CS. I hope you can convert these instructions to your software and version. After loading A COPY of the picture into PhotoShop, click on the “Quick Mask” indicated by the bottom green circle on the left-hand-side. Then click on the gradient tool, the middle circle. After clicking the gradient tool you will see 5 options for this tool presented at the top and you should select the 4th one which is “Reflective Gradient”.

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Demo Slide 2
Demo Slide 2 (Larger images available with website version.)

Imagine a horizontal zone in the picture where you would like to retain sharpness. I am selecting the foreground passenger trains to be the main subject in this demo, but you could have selected the freight trains in the distance.

The top green arrow indicates where I have initially placed the cursor on the roof of the red car. You can see a thin grey line which I have drawn to the bottom green arrow. This line indicates 1/2 of the height of the gradient zone (the bottom half), from the sharpest point at the top to the least sharp point at the bottom. The top half will simply be mirrored above the top green arrow so you will end up with a “reflective gradient” both upwards and downwards from the top green arrow.

If this is confusing, take note of where the top green arrow is on the roof of the red car, then take a peek at the next slide and note where the roof of the red car is, then come back. Reread this and hopefully you will better understand.

As soon as you release the mouse button after drawing this gradient line, you will get a red band of gradient mask as shown in the next slide.

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Demo Slide 3
Demo Slide 3 (Larger images available with website version.)

This red mask is the area which will be preserved in subsequent steps that we take to throw the background and foreground out of focus. The “gradient” ensures that the most central area of the band will be the most sharp, gradually losing focus towards the edges.

At this point select the standard editing tool indicated by the green circle on the left-hand-side.

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Demo Slide 4
Demo Slide 4 (Larger images available with website version.)

By selecting the standard editing tool, the red mask has disappeared to be replaced by two horizontal lines of “marching ants” indicating the selected area. The area above and below the lines will be put totally out of focus by our next steps. The area between the lines will have a focus gradient outwards from the centre.

From the top menu select “Filter” (green circle) and from the drop-down menu select “Blur”, then “Lens Blur”.

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Demo Slide 5
Demo Slide 5 (Larger images available with website version.)

This is the “Lens Blur” menu. You can play with the radius and probably select between 20 to 60. I have selected 40 in this example. The other variables I have not played with and I believe are the default settings.

Click OK.

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Demo Slide 6
Demo Slide 6 (Larger images available with website version.)

Here you see the basic result of your efforts. At this point if you are not happy with the selected area, you can go back and redraw your gradient line and then reapply the lens blurring.

If you are happy with the blurring, then select “Select” from the top menu and “Deselect” from the drop-down menu to remove the marching ants. Proceed to the next slide.

Aside: (You can skip this). In some cases you may find that something projects out of the sharp zone which you would expect to be in focus given the perceived distance from the lens and the narrow focal area. Imagine a crane in this picture with the arm reaching upwards, yet the same distance from the camera as the rest of the crane. Conversely, you may wish something was out of focus that is in the centre of the focused area. In this demo picture, the nearest lamp post is out of focus at the base and sharp at the top. Clearly this is not quite right but in this example it is hardly noticeable. In such scenarios, additional PhotoShop skills may be applied in the mask phase to either paint in some mask to retain focus, or paint out some mask to lose focus. This was necessary in the earlier shown picture of the Aberdeen Pavilion (Cattle Castle) where the dome of the building was outside of the focused area and had to have mask painted back in to preserve its sharpness.

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Demo Slide 7
Demo Slide 7 (Larger images available with website version.)

This is the same as the previous slide after the selected area has been deselected.

Now, in order to increase the toy-like appearance of your image, if desired, give it a blast of saturation. You can do this a couple of ways but most simply go up to the third item “Image” in the top menu and from the drop-down select “Adjustment” then “Hue/Saturation”.

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Demo Slide 8
Demo Slide 8 (Larger images available with website version.)

Applying +40 saturation seems to be a standard here but I suggest that you flavour to taste. Look back and forth between this slide and the previous slide to see the difference especially in the reds and yellows of the passenger cars.

Similarly you can apply some additional contrast to sometimes improve on the result (next slide). Contrast is also accessed through the top menu “Image” then from the drop-down select “Adjustment” then “Brightness/Contrast”.

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Demo Slide 9
Demo Slide 9 (Larger images available with website version.)

Here is the difference, though small, of applying +10 contrast.

Essentially that’s all there is to it, but I have decided that this particular image might look better as a cropped version. So go to the next slide.

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Demo Slide 10
Demo Slide 10 (Larger images available with website version.)

I used the crop tool, indicated by the green circle, to reduce the amount of sky in this image.

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Demo Slide 11
Demo Slide 11 (Larger images available with website version.)

This is my final version, still viewed in PhotoShop.

The next 3 images show the original in comparison with the final version and also with different option of selecting the distant freight cars as the subject.

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This is the original photo.
This is the original photo.

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This is the result of demo.
This is the result of demo.

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This is an alternate result if we had initially selected the freight trains in the distance instead of the passenger trains in the foreground.
This is an alternate result if we had initially selected the freight trains in the distance instead of the passenger trains in the foreground.

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There is a Flickr group called Tilt-shift Miniature Fakes devoted to these types of images and discussion by their creators. You might get additional ideas for your own Tiny Town images if you take a look through the group’s photostream.

There are other tutorials and articles around on this subject. Here are a few examples:

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Please visit my website.