KAP 2008-40: The Badlands, South Dakota. July 23, 2008

Wall, South Dakota was our stop-over for a couple of nights while we took the opportunity to make several visits to the Badlands. After an evening taking in some driving and bison viewing, we set off the next morning to do some hiking. KAP gear was always at the ready and in the trunk of the car, but there was no wind. Considering the day before I had been doing Kite Aerial Photography in town at Dakota Mill & Grain (see previous blog entry) and almost been unable to bring down the kite due to the ferocity of the wind, this was a total turn-around. Anyway, the plan this morning had been to hike and so it was shoulder level photography for the outing. We were quite exhausted with the heat and the hiking and we headed back to town looking forward to a dip in the motel pool. Wouldn’t you know it, the wind looked like it was picking up. I restocked my water, and headed back alone to the Bigfoot Viewpoint and managed to overcome the tentative winds to capture some of my favourite KAP shots of the holiday. Here is a sampling of them.

Self-portrait and aerial shot of the Badlands in South Dakota taken from Bigfoot Viewpoint. I'm standing on the platform at the end of the boardwalk.
Self-portrait and aerial shot of the Badlands in South Dakota taken from Bigfoot Viewpoint. I’m standing on the platform at the end of the boardwalk.

The main park road runs along the top of the image. The view from a kite line above Bigfoot Viewpoint in the South Dakota Badlands.
The main park road runs along the top of the image. The view from a kite line above Bigfoot Viewpoint in the South Dakota Badlands.

The parking lot at Bigfoot Viewpoint in the SD Badlands, with a blue Hyundai Sonata belonging to the lone kite flier.
The parking lot at Bigfoot Viewpoint in the SD Badlands, with a blue Hyundai Sonata belonging to the lone kite flier.

One of the many bizarre looking abstracts I obtained from shooting straight down from overhead into the hills of the Badlands in South Dakota.
One of the many bizarre looking abstracts I obtained from shooting straight down from overhead into the hills of the Badlands in South Dakota.

The sun had set behind a cloud draining some of the colour from this shot but it still gives a good broader view of the badlands. You get a good view from the lookout, but an even better one from 400 or so feet above that.
The sun had set behind a cloud draining some of the colour from this shot but it still gives a good broader view of the badlands. You get a good view from the lookout, but an even better one from 400 or so feet above that.

For this session I was using FLED kite, 100 lb. line, Powershot A570IS camera.

You can see additional pictures from my KAP 2008-40 outing in the Kite Aerial Photography Gallery on my website.

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KAP 2008-39: Dakota Mill & Grain, Wall, South Dakota. July 22, 2008

While visiting the badlands we stayed in Wall, South Dakota.

This is Dakota Mill & Grain, Inc. in Wall, South Dakota. My KAP objective was the infamous Wall Drug store on the main street (in the upper left corner of the first photo). Numerous power lines made launching a kite in the downtown area iffy, at least for the direction the wind was blowing this day. The people at Dakota Mill & Grain kindly let me launch on their property and I intended to walk the kite and camera into town. After about 15 minutes of KAPing their facility I started to make my way to town but the wind picked up intensely and I had to back up to my “big space”, anchor the kite and walk it down with a pulley. It was quite a struggle and although disappointed with not reaching my objective, I was glad to finally have camera and kite back to the ground.

These photographs were taken using kite aerial photography (KAP).

Dakota Mill & Grain, Wall, South Dakota.
Dakota Mill & Grain, Wall, South Dakota.

Overhead view of part of the facility.
Overhead view of part of the facility.

Another overhead view from a different angle.
Another overhead view from a different angle.

A closer view.
A closer view.

The open area where I launched and took down the kite. Thank goodness for those heavy pipes on the ground. In the end I had to anchor the kite line to a pipe and use a pulley to bring the gear down. the wind was too fierce to pull it in by hand.
The open area where I launched and took down the kite. Thank goodness for those heavy pipes on the ground. In the end I had to anchor the kite line to a pipe and use a pulley to bring the gear down. The wind was too fierce to pull it in by hand.

You can see additional pictures from my KAP 2008-39 outing in the Kite Aerial Photography Gallery on my website.