True Here comes the sun, with distortion as its +1. Taken with an iPhone 4S on a 10-second interval from the Camera Awesome! app from SmugMug, wrapped by a kite string and flown over St. Malachy Catholic Church in Brownsburg, Ind. Alex Farris
Go fly a kite, with an iPhone attached to its string | Alex Farris Photo Blog
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or My first foray into kite aerial photography

2012.07.26
I'm a big fan of the webcomic xkcd for many reasons, but recently I found another reason to like it. A while back, the artist, Randall Munroe, rigged a bare-bones camera to take a photo every 13 seconds as it hung suspended from a kite string. His photos over Boston rekindled in me something that has long been a dream of mine: to take photos from places extremely high (lip of a volcano, International Space Station) and extremely low (ocean floor, in a cave). The most cost-effective extremely-high option, of course, is kite aerial photography, an on-again, off-again fascination with a very devoted fan base. So, I bought a $40 kite from REI that could handle winds strong enough to lift my iPhone 4S part way up to the clouds. I used SmugMug's Camera Awesome! app to set an interval of 30 seconds (for the first flight) and 10 seconds (for the second and third flights), I looped the kite string around my phone and through multiple holes in the case, and I let 'er fly.

I posted a photo on Instagram, and I'm already getting suggestions for the next cool thing to fly. My favorite, from Pat Lovell, is a remote controlled helicopter, which could lift my D300 with a rigging around it. Or, it could also lift a GoPro HD HERO2 that I just bought. We'll see!

Also, here are all 65 photos from the three kite photo flights. Warning: there's a lot of distortion and a lot of ground. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty.

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It was just me, the kite, the string, the consistent ~20mph wind, and the clear blue sky. It was just me, the kite, the string, the consistent ~20mph wind, and the clear blue sky. Alex Farris
On the way up... On the way up... Alex Farris
The string flipped the phone so much, and the shutter speed was just slow enough, that I got a lot of distortion in some of the shots. The string flipped the phone so much, and the shutter speed was just slow enough, that I got a lot of distortion in some of the shots. Alex Farris
Cirrus clouds, closer than how we usually see them Cirrus clouds, closer than how we usually see them Alex Farris
Cropped and Instagramed version of the photo linked above Cropped and Instagramed version of the photo is linked to above Alex Farris
Here comes the sun, with distortion as its +1 Here comes the sun, with distortion as its +1 Alex Farris

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