Kite-Lofted Camera Image Image 2
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Kite-Lofted Camera Image (Image 2)

June 30, 2010
Kite-Lofted Camera Image (Image 2) View of ocean-side bluff at Chimney Rock, Pt. Reyes, Calif. There are elephant seals at the base of the cliff. They are mostly juveniles learning to swim and/or feed the waiting great white sharks. Point Reyes is also home of Harbor Seals and sea lions, but not so much along this stretch of coast. All species have made a fine comeback since the 1972 passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. According to the National Park Service, northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) began breeding at Point Reyes in 1981, after being absent for over 150 years. The population breeds at terrestrial haul-out sites at Point Reyes Headland, one of only eleven mainland breeding areas for northern elephant seals in the world. This image was taken by Charles Crisp Benton, a professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, using a kite-lofted camera. The camera is contained in a radio-controlled cradle suspended from the kite line approximately 50 meters below the kite. The suspension techniques, developed 100 years ago, provide an aerial photography stable and inexpensive platform that is particularly useful for low altitude remote sensing. To learn more about Benton's kite-lofted photography, visit his Web site at http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/kaptoc.html. This image is copyright and was included in the NSF Multimedia Gallery with permission from the owner. See "Restrictions" below regarding use of this image. (Date of Image: September 2005) [One of several related images. See Next Image.]

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