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Kite-Lofted Camera Image Image 4
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Kite-Lofted Camera Image (Image 4)

June 30, 2010
Kite-Lofted Camera Image (Image 4) This relatively high shot of the pond, adjacent to the Don Edward's San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, shows the pond after it has been largely drained. The brownish waters are probably due to the influx of water with lower salinity, and the orange and red colors are probably due to residual waters of higher salinity. Also evident in this image are the channels that served the wetlands that preceded the salt pond. These ghostly vestigial waterways have been frozen in place since the wetlands were diked. Their shapes are memorials of the tidal ebb and flow, evident in the water they retain or the salt left behind when the ponds are emptied. The salt ponds in San Francisco Bay are remarkable for the halophiles that flourish at various salinities with true colors ranging from vibrant green to vermillion. Each color maps the microorganisms that live in the pond, largely as a function of its salinity. The area is managed by a variety of agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, whose local authority, the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, has granted a research permit for this aerial photography. 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.]