This session took place at the Arnprior Municipal Marina where aerial views of the city of Arnprior and the Madawaska River were taken, including the weir/dam, the construction of the new water treatment facility, the marina which is also under redevelopment, and the mouth of the Madawaska River where it enters into the Ottawa River.
Arnprior Weir. The curved dam across the Madawaska River alongside the bridge which is Madawaska Boulevard. You can see several bridges upstream and at the top left is the Arnprior Generating Station holding back the river which turns sharply to the right and across the top of the picture.
I had driven to Arnprior early, leaving Ottawa at about 6:00 am with slippery road conditions and ongoing snow squalls. The main purpose was to attend a Masters Swim Meet. I’ve been taking a sabbatical from serious swimming so I went to photograph the event and my swimmer friends. Despite the weather conditions, I trusted the weather forecast and packed my kite aerial photography gear. Apparently it was expected to clear in the afternoon. The meet concluded with a social breakfast at the Antrim Truck Stop, a regular haunt of the Arnprior club. At about 10:30, as I finished eating, I wondered if the serious snow still falling outside was really going to end and debated going home. With skeptical faith in the weather forecast, I decided to wait and see. For the next two hours I marched around town and the Madawaska riverfront with my SLR and tripod taking some scenic shots (which I haven’t looked at yet). By 12:30, lo and behold the sky cleared. I drove to the Arnprior Municipal Marina where I parked and launched my Fled kite and autokap gear for a couple of hours of KAPping.
Kite aerial photography depends on fine/dry weather because of the exposed electronics plus the fact that one cannot clean off the lens after the gear has been surrendered to the sky.
The Madawaska meets the Ottawa in winter. Winter aerial view of the Madawaska River where it enters the Ottawa River at Arnprior, Ontario. Vertical panorama created from 2 images. Bristol Mines at the top of the picture in Quebec. My kites may have to visit there someday.
Collecting ice floes. Aerial photograph of ice and slush created when ice is broken going over the falls now being collected further downstream where there is more stable ice on the river.
Water Treatment Plant, Arnprior. Development of a larger water treatment plant alongside the Madawaska River in Arnprior, Ontario. The kite line is visible in this picture.
Just as I was about to call it a day, the wind suddenly had the same idea and the camera descended rapidly as I attempted to haul line as quickly as possible. The camera landed fairly softly on soft ice on the surface of the river, face down. I had to leave it there several minutes until the kite lofted it again. The lens froze over and I left the camera turned on for the next two hours so as to give it chance to melt then dry out without damaging the lens retraction mechanism.
Rapid descent. Just as I was about to call it a day, the wind suddenly died.
You can see additional pictures in the Kite Aerial Photography Gallery – Where the Madawaska meets the Ottawa – Arnprior, Ontario – January 29, 2011.
© Rob Huntley