Friday, September 30, 2011

Ocean City Kite Fest

Well, here we are with one hobby meeting another.  I enjoy flying kites, and taking pictures, so what to do.  Guess I should do both.  So, I will probably be commenting more on the kites (and a little less on the photos) in this update.

Before I get into the pictures, a comment about cameras.  I spent sometime here stating how nice it is to have a camera in ones pocket.  I even took it as far to start to compare that SX210 with my phone (portability is most important when quality is close).  I am now questioning my logic.  When I look at pictures with the SX210, and the Digital Rebel there is really no comparison.  Still way too much noise in the SX210 (guess its time to try and find something that better fits my desires).  Personally, I am thinking that the sensor is just too small, and I need to really think before I move on (but have started looking already).

Having said that, I was happy to have the SX210, not the Digital Rebel for the kite fest.  I wanted to do some flying and not focus on the camera.  This year I even competed (well we will get to that, competed might not be a good word).  Carrying around the DSLR would have been tough (and I might have had to lay it in the sand for the kite fights).  Additionally, I gave the camera to Denise to take some pictures while I was competing (that word again) and she would not have had an easy time with the DSLR, but the SX210 was just point and shoot for her (I will show one she took later).

Lets start off with some of my kites (its my blog).  A word of warning, weather was far less than optimum (both for pictures and for kite flying).  The sun did not show itself at all during the weekend (and there were many periods with no wind at all).  As always, click the image for a larger one.

The kite above is just a 6 foot delta (nothing special).  However the wheel is cool (if this were a movie and not a picture, you would be watching it spin).  I needed the 6 foot delta to get the wheel up (not alot of wind).  Was not easy to put up, but I worked it up (using air spaces between and around the hotels etc).  Because of the tail, it got alot of looks.  

Before we move on, this picture is a good example of an issue with the SX210.  Notice the corners are a bit dark (in this and the other images).  This was not just the cloud pattern, but happened on all the images at full zoom.  So not just noise, but vignetting at full zoom.

Above is my EO 10 (Expandable Object).  I think it should be EOS (edge of sanity).  Kite looses its wind, collapses flat (which is how it is carried) and comes down in an interesting dance (as I said, wind was inconsistent).  It looks better when the sky is a bit brighter as you can really see it has three colors.  However, this is less than optimal conditions (so it is what it is).  This is considered a box type of kite, did not replace my old favorite though.

Above was one I bought this festival, still hoping to give my favorite a rest.  This is the Mega Wolf Cross Box kite (impressive name isn't it, good start).  The top is a box, and the bottom a cross.  I think this would look really cool in sunlight, as the black would really make the colors stand out.  

This is my favorite kite.  The sky should be a give away that this was taken last year (but I wanted to include it).  I did fly it this year, but I had the camera in the housing - see the post below this one.  I was taking pictures of the kids on the beach and playing in the sand and wanted to keep the moisture and sand out of the camera.  I had this picture (which was better than anything I would have gotten on that gray day anyway).  

Notice most of my kites are darker in color (I think darker colors stand out better against the bright sky, so I avoid light colored kites).  This is a simple box kite, no wings nothing but box.  This always gets alot of looks and points from the people going by.  Also when it is up in the sky, the colors give an optical illusion (starts to look inside out and like it is standing up, not laying down).  

That's enough of my kites.  Lets look at the festival a bit.  There is a nice selection of kites you just do not see anywhere else as well as activities (stunt kite demonstrations, fighter kite contests, and games (like dancing and even a silly band drop).  

Speaking of interesting kites, here is a squid (flying above the ocean, wonder how he feels about that).  Do not see this one everywhere (bright and colorful, though some sun would help).  The vignetting looks particularly tough here (though mostly in only three corners this time).  

In addition to kites, there are also alot of interesting wind socks.  These are tide to the strings of big kits and lifted by them.  There was not as many up this year as I have seen in the past (the wind was a little less than helpful).  Even here the red and yellow turtle just cant get fully off the ground.  Wait is that some blue in the sky in the background (I do not think so).

Even more traditional kites are operated in a less traditional mode (here are three strung together. I liked these.  The black with the color really stood out (again could have been better with some sun, even a drab, drizzly day on the beach flying a kite beats a day at work anytime).  

As I said above, there are lots of stunt kite demonstrations.  The Revolution is probably the most popular being demonstrated.  The four lines make them highly maneuverable (they can tap the shoulder on people on the boardwalk as they walk by).  They also require surprisingly little wind.  Here are three strings of revolutions all flying to music (music is a large part of all the performances).  This is really the best part, and the biggest reason to go.  Alot of the demonstrations are really good, and they even setup a little space in the background to let others try there hand at stunt kites (more wind would have made it better).  

Finally, I made the comment about err competing.  Below is a picture of me in the mini Rokkaku fights (getting ready).  I participated in this and the fighter kite.  I was able to do both without scoring a single point (even my kid scored).  To make some excuses, I do not normally kite fight (I do fly a single line fighter, but I fly it like a stunt kite - kites do not want to fight, they want to fly).  

I am the one in the hat in the picture above (I am normally the one in the hat).  I did give my kid my kite in the Rokkaku fight (it was flying better (and took his which was giving him problems).  There was no wind so the only thing keeping the kites up was us pulling them in.  First two rounds I went down quick, and then I used a different attach point on the bridle (which seemed to be working better - I did not want to win, but a point would have been nice).  However my kid (yes mine) was in front of me, got my string under his arm and ripped it.  I also ran into the eventual winner (she is behind the gentleman next to me in the picture) in the first round of the fighter kites and she just took me out.  

Well, those are the pictures.  Not great, but I had fun.  Better conditions would have made better pictures.  I think the DSLR would have done a bit better getting over those conditions (but then I would have to carry that and I was really there to play with kites (and throw the occasional boomerang) not so much take pictures.  So I guess the pocket camera has its uses (as well as its drawbacks).  

My next update will be back to infra red.  There will be pictures from both the phone (I fixed the issue seen a few posts down) and the SX210 (the DSLR is not setup for infra red).  Still not as sharp as I want, but better.  I just want to grab one more example before I do the next update, but hopefully soon.  I will show some examples of true infra red and false color.  All will be processed as shown previously (way down in this blog).  So the next update should be back to more photo focused (pardon the pun).  It should be fun.