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Kite-Lofted Camera Image Image 1
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Kite-Lofted Camera Image (Image 1)

June 30, 2010
Kite-Lofted Camera Image (Image 1) Aerial view of South San Francisco Bay salt pond. This evaporation pond was recently drained and refilled. The water itself is unusually clear and you can see through it to the pond bottom. However, the surface is carrying a large bloom of algae. The image reveals traces of earlier salt works on the bottom of the pond. 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.]