A Dad, A Child and an Errant Kite

dora_kite-small.gifFor anyone who has ever chased after a kite when  their child simply let go of the string, Garret Leiva of Michigan has captured the moment in a funny and warm hearted look at the magic moments of kiting with a young child.

Writing in The Grand Traverse Herald, Traverse City, Michigan, Garret tells the intriguing story of his mad dash to rescue a Dora the Explorer kite that he had handed to his daughter so she could enjoy flying. 

Garret - many of us have been in a similar situation - but few of us have written about it with such terrific insight.  Visit Garret's account "Chasing After Kite, Fleeting Youth" for an interesting read. 

Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006 at 07:02AM by Registered CommenterHifliercanada in | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Kite Enhanced Billboard Advertising

nissan_kite_billboard-small.gifKites are often used as props in advertising layouts in both print and video media.  They make an interesting and active backdrop that conveys a sense of playfulness, colour, and friendship.  The intent is to draw the viewer into a pleasant and relaxing situation and help focus positive attention on the product being sold.

 One interesting variation on this theme is the use of a kite in a billboard advertising a small Nissan urban car that is gaining attention in both Asian and European markets.

 The billboard presents the full image of the car in a typical street scape setting.  The kite is attached to the billboard by some sort of wire to make sure that it "flies" above the street scene.  Cleverly, the kite appears attached to the passenger side of the car with a line shown in the graphic image.  To get a larger view, click on the image above.

 The 3-D effect of the kite flying in the sky is quite dramatic and shows the appeal of kites in almost all settings. 

Photo source:  BillBoarddom 

Posted on Friday, June 9, 2006 at 09:39PM by Registered CommenterHifliercanada in | Comments1 Comment

Kite Surfer Completes Trans-Atlantic Crossing

manu_bertin.gifFrench kite sufer Manu Bertin recently became the first man to KITE-SURF 2,700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean! 

The trip took three weeks and included the use of three vessels powered by kite traction.  Bertin used  a regular kiter's surfboard, a "relaxation" kite-cat catamaran (designed by Peter Lynn of New Zealand) for when his muscles needed a rest, and a kite-towed dinghy for sleeping while keeping  one hand on a single kite control line.

Bertin set off from the island of Gomera in the Canary Islands on April 26, 2006.  Three weeks later, extremely tired but jubilant, he arrived at Pointe a Pitre in Guadaloupe.  He was accompanied by a support vessel, the Baies du Monde.

At age 42, Bertin is a very fit athlete with over ten years of kite-surfing experience. He has several kite surfing championships to his credit and has amassed loads of experience in all types of kite surfing events and challenges.  However, this feat was nothing short of amazing!

Congratulations to Manu Bertin for an amazing feat of personal endurance and application of modern kite traction technology.

 More details can be found at:


Posted on Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:25AM by Registered CommenterHifliercanada in | CommentsPost a Comment

Scott Haefner and the Drachen Foundation Recreate Lawrence's Post Earthquake Aerial Photo Scenario

Last week, on the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, Best-Breezes brought you a blog entry on Goerge Lawrence and his amazing photos of the devastation of that quake by way of his kite aerial camera.  Also at that time, we noted that Scott Haefner, a noted Kite Aerial Photographer, was working with the Drachen Foundation of Seattle WA to recreate the historic photos with modern KAP equipment.

 Well, today the current photos by Haefner are available on the Drachen Foundation's website.  What a spectacular view and great project.  Typical of Scott Skinner, Ali Fujino and the Drachen Foundation this project is first class and adds greatly to the dissemination of knowledge about kites and their role in history.  The complete story and photos by Scott taken from his aerial rig are amazing.  Well done everyone!

For a complete press release and description of the event visit the PR Web (Press Release Newswire) site to see all the details as well as information on George Lawrence, Scott Haefner, and the Drachen Foundation.



Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 at 06:18PM by Registered CommenterHifliercanada in , | CommentsPost a Comment

The Most Famous Kite Aerial Photographs of the Past 100 Years

The devastating earthquake of April 18, 1906 resulted in major loss of life and incredible structural and economic damage in the city of San Francisco, CA.


The earthquake was of a 7.9 magnitude on the Richter Scale.  It lasted for over forty-five seconds and was followed by a series of strong after shocks.  San Francisco was devastated.  Over 3000 people lost their lives as a result of the earthquake.  Fires broke out and fanned through the city consuming much of what was left standing.


Tens of thousands were left homeless.  The United States Army established a tent city to house the destitute.  The economy of the city and region was crushed.   San Francisco immediately became the centre of attention of the world press.


It is said that this was one of the first national disasters to receive wide photographic coverage.  Newspapers around the world printed some of the many photographs taken of the ruins and effects, all shot at ground level or from a few floors up in the few buildings left sound and standing.


The devastation drew the attention of all who saw the photos in newspapers around the globe. 


However, a series of photographs taken seventeen days after the quake became famous for their pictorial effect in showing the wide spread and near complete ruin caused by the quake and the ensuring fires.


George Lawrence, a noted Chicago photographer who had pioneered aerial photography from captive hydrogen balloons in 1895, determined that he should travel to the west coast to record the catastrophe from the unique perspective of two thousand feet above the city.


conyne-train-1.gifLawrence was always seeking ways to improve the raising of his large aerial cameras and he became acquainted with Chicago inventor Silas Conyne, who had developed and patented the Conyne Kite to lift advertising banners in 1902. By 1904 Lawrence had developed a method of training a group of Conyne kites to lift his large, heavy cameras and to steady them in position to take aerial photographs.


It was this "Kite Aerial Photography" system that Lawrence employed on May 5, 1906 to shoot his dramatic photos of the devastation of the San Francisco earthquake's primary damage zone.


Below is one of the several photographs that George Lawrence made to record the destruction of the San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 2006.




Arguably, these photos are the most famous kite aerial photographs produced in the past 100 years.  Although there have been many advances in KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) no photos taken from the lofty platform provided by a kite have been more dramatic or of greater historical importance.


Lawrence's work is well documented. Originals of his photographic works are found in a number of  museums, most notably the collections of the Chicago Historical Society, the Library of Congress and the National Archives of the United States of America.


Present Day Kite Aerial Photography of San Francisco and San Andreas Earthquake Zones:


Sometime during the next few weeks, Scott Haefner will attempt to reshoot the San Farncisco quake area using modern KAP techniques and equipment.  Scott's project is being supported by The Drachen FoundationYou can follow this event on Scott Haefner's weblog.


The United States Geological Service has also used KAP as a tool to present aerial images of the San Andreas fault at the Carrizo Plain.  Again, Scott Haefner, a noted KAPer, is involved in this intriguing project.




Baker, Dr. Simon.  "George Lawrence: A Giant in Kite Aerial Photography." Kitelines, Fol. 11, No. 1, Fall 1994.  Pp. 52-55.  [Images in this Best-Breezes Blog entry are reproduced by permission of Valerie Govig, Publisher, Kitelines.]


NewHall, Beaumont.  Airborne Camera: The World from the Air and Outer Space. New York, N.Y.  Hastings House Publishers in collaboration with the George Eastman House, Rochester N,Y. 1969   ISBN: 8038-0335-4   Pp. 43-46.



  1. The first kite aerial photographs known were taken by Arthur Batut of France in 1889.
  2. William Abner Eddy of Bayonne, N.J. was the first in North America to take photographs from kites.  Using trains of six to nine kites Eddy took photos of New York city and environs from heights of 1000 feet in 1895.  This was at least four years before Lawrence began using any type of kite for aerial photography.
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 at 07:54PM by Registered CommenterHifliercanada in , | CommentsPost a Comment