Friday Dec 20, 2013. New Silverbowl Park. My brother Frank is in town for a juggling convention (as both teacher and student). He took time to join me both at work yesterday and at the Friday Night Fly. The wind started off nicely, but died to basically zero. Still we had a great time. On the left is a fellow employee of mine Khanh. He has a Prism Mirage and a beautiful older Revolution 1.
Khanh then took a photo of Frank and me with 2 of the kites we flew that evening. An HQ Midi on the left and a L'Atelier Lithium UL on the right. In the back, several of the regulars stayed warm in front of the propane heaters. Later Frank and I went for Sushi after the wind died.
Happy Halloween from Mr. Potato Head in Las Vegas.
Oct 24, 2013. My boss brought in his replica Batmobile (built to the original blueprints). I just happened to have the custom Gary Dromgold Bat-Signal sport kite recently signed by Adam West. There was no wind and my airshots are blurry as I forgot to change the pocket camera to Shutter Speed Priority in the late afternoon shade (DOH!). Luckily, I did shoot a few pics in HDR mode. The picture of me in the car wearing the cowl will not be seen, although it did happen.
Keeping a low profile as I head out to fly a sport kite.
Friday Oct 18, 2013 New Silverbowl Park, NV. The park is slowly being surrounded by thousands of feet of 8 foot high iron fencing to control park entrance/egress.
The park officials really don't want you climbing over either.
Don't fence me in. Hopefully, there will be gates that remain unlocked.
Darren looks for something while holding his "Long Way Home". Gliders were in demand as wind was not around. Dano had come down from Reno too. Sorry Dano.
Friday Oct 11, 2013 New Silverbowl Park, NV. Wayne holes onto his new Tekken DOA SUL. Wayne had Lam leave off the swords as they were distracting. It hurt Lam a little to leave off the swords. Photo taken in HDR mode.
Photo taken without using HDR.
Tekken DOA standard with swords.
Same kite and guy. Photo taken in HDR mode.
I still don't like the eyes on this one, although I like the eyes on the Sea Devil.
Ian holds Mark's Next Up. Ian is wearing an authentic B-1 Test Team Flight jacket. Very cool with orange interior.
HDR mode of same kite.
Friday, Sep 27, 2013. New Silverbowl Park, NV. Ken holds onto Mark's latest acquisition. This is the R-Sky Next WW (Without Wind). The next photo was taken using HDR.
So the little Sony does this HDR trick. It takes 3 photos in 1/4 of a second and takes the best part of each photo and puts them together. This is supposed to be done on a tripod, but I did it hand held. Let me know which one you like better.
Then Ken held up Mark's Transformer Vented Light.
This is the non-HDR version of the kite.
On Sept 25, 2013 at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. The Aristocrat booth hired Adam West to sign autographs and see the new Batman game. He signed 300 photographs and made an exception to sign this Gary Dromgold one-of-a-kind sport kite. I had removed the frame and brought in the sail in my G2E bag. Mr. West made the exception for me as I had written some of the dialog he used to do the voice overs for our game.
Friday, Sept 20, 2013. New Silverbowl Park, NV. Wayne holds onto Mark's super-vented STX-2.3. The wind was blowing over 10 mph during this picture. Considering that it was 7pm and no flash was used, this picture came out incredibly well. I'm at full wide-angle to get the f1.8 portion of the lens. Wayne isn't really that wide.
I asked Mark to open up the extra vents on one side. So the viewer's left side is fully open, while the right side has 2 portions closed.
Another lucky shot. This time, all vents are open. No flash. This little Sony pocket camera is incredible.
10:30 pm. Okay, it's really dark. Had to use Adobe Elements to lighten up the ground and people. Ian brings in his beautiful Sutton 125 with custom counter-rotating tails. Wayne in the background with a TOTL NSR.
The wind had dropped, so Ian walks by me while I snap a few pictures.
Always a pleasure to watch that big foil fly.
Friday the 13th, Sep 2013. New Silverbowl Park. Mark holds both his cigar and a beautiful R-Sky Next UL. Flash used as the sun was already over the horizon.
Rob holds Mark's other recent acquisition. This is the R-Sky Next Team kite. Sadly, there was so little wind that Darren was able to fly his Long Way Home glider.
Now that the park lights were taking effect, I asked Rob to hold the Next UL for a non-flash picture. This one did take a little post production in Adobe Elements.
"The Long Way Home" by Thomas K. Horvath of Zurich, Switzerland. This is a 9 foot wingspan, 3.88 ounce SLK glider. Very nice for those windless days.
A more realistic rendering of the previous photo. I used a blur filter on the sky to take out the pixelation. "The Long Way Home" by Thomas K. Horvath of Zurich, Switzerland. This is a 9 foot wingspan, 3.88 ounce SLK glider. Very nice for those windless days.
Friday, Sep 6, 2013. New Silverbowl Park, NV. Our Friday Night Fly was graced with clearing clouds after the rain and a visit from the Foster and King families. Here is Jim Foster getting ready for flight.
The sky wasn't great, but it was clearing, not to mention a rainbow. This actually came out better than I thought it would.
Tom King holds up his Rev of the evening. Tom is wearing his Kite Party 11 shirt.
Tom with his Rev. This photo was taken with out the flash.
(l-r) Jim Foster, Lynn Foster, Kathie King, Tom King. All 4 travel a lot. They had come from WSIKF and Antelope Island Kite Festival. They even brought wind with them. Jim and Lynn had visited a few years ago. Oh Drat, I forgot to have them sign my friendship Mojo. Oh well, next time.
Aug 23, 2013. New Silverbowl Park, NV. Ian opened up his 2nd oldest SLK. This beautiful custom Genkhi is over 25 years old.
Sadly, I forgot to change the pocket camera over to Shutter Speed Priority. In Auto, there is a little blur so don't look too closely. Sorry, Ian.
Friday Aug 16, 2013 New Silverbowl Park. Angel models her box kite for me.
It was hot and muggy and the wind was bumpy and low. Flew this beautiful Aura "Spider" SUL from Skyburner kites. I realized the upper left spreader connector had slipped down causing the nose to "pinch". The kite still flew well, but I fixed the pesky connector on Saturday. What a sweet kite.
August 2, 2013 New Silverbowl Park. Wayne had these 2 new fish from GKPI. This is a full frame 20MP photo taken with my pocket camera.
The fish is about 6 feet long.
Wayne also had a matching green fish.
He's a cutie.
Wayne's 70 foot Octopus was the lifter for the 2 fish.
The sun was behind clouds most of the evening, but it came out just before sunset. So I yelled at Darren to come over and please help me get some pictures of Mark's new NFX. At least I hope I said please.
I told Darren this was going to be the greatest photo ever. Well it isn't, but it came out pretty well. Amazing clouds.
Darren let me order him around in the very bumpy winds. But we did get a few nice shots.
A much more normally lit photo of the NFX.
Had to make a couple of layers to get this effect. Yes it's cheating I know. Sue me.
Wayne and Angel hold up a Dean Jordan Hugo from 1991. Ken flies his Dyna-Kite stack in the background.
And a 20+ year old phone number.
July 27, 2013. Photo taken by Jay Diedre. My son Britt Brittain flies a L'Atelier Vented Lithium in-between dirt-bike races. Even with the large vents full open, he cracked a leading edge rod after 20 minutes flying in very strong wind (look at that flag). If Britt flew as often as he raced, he would be the best sport kite flier in the world.
Here's Britt at Shoreline Park with the 3 kites I loaned to him in 2010. From left to right: Lithium Vented (with custom pocket main vents), Mojo standard, and Shadow UL (almost SUL).
Saturday, July 20, 2013, 6:15pm. 104°F (40°C), 22% RH with a Dew Point of 58°F. It was a miserable time to be outside, UNLESS you were taking pictures of the world's first Talon SUL (Mark Clements, Jest of Eve Kites) with white leading and trailing edges as well as being sewn with red thread. How cool is that?
As the sun was in a convenient spot, I used it a lot. You will see some color shifting, but cut me some slack here people. We are shooting into the sun.
Even though backlit, you can just make out the red thread at 20 feet away.
Okay, that is just a beautiful kite.
Yes, photographer, pilot, and fade shot by yours truly. My arm is almost long enough to pat myself on the back.
This is Mark's kite and we met at Patriot Park for about 30 minutes. Just long enough to get some photos and get out of the oppressive heat.
I finished this photo with a bit more blue just for a change of pace.
Thought I'd give you guys a close-up.
If you click on the magnifying glass above each photo, you can enlarge these to full resolution.
I'm including more photos than usual. I really like how the line fuzzed up in this picture.
Since the kite is mostly black and white, I converted this picture.
Although it looks good with the color.
Mark holds onto his newest Talon. He must have at least 5 of these by now.
A storm has been coming in, so this front lit shot is flatter than I would have liked. Thanks for coming out Mark. He had already flown earlier in the day.
So if you want a wonderful sport kite, contact Mark Clements (Jest of Eve Kites) and have him make you one of these beauties.
Final detail collage. Looking forward to flying this on a slightly cooler day.
July 5, 2013. Ian, Mike and Dave work on a cell SLK in winds that were too strong. Photo taken without flash by our pocket camera.
July 5, 2013. I'm another 20 miles SE of our house and the smoke from the fire in Carpenter Canyon is huge. That's the sun you see in the distance.
July 4, 2013. There's been a small fire that has now grown in Carpenter Canyon, about 20 miles West of our house. The glow is from the sun, and the lower clouds are just clouds. But that dark upper bank to the left is smoke from the fire. Photo by Bambi Chilese.
Mark will be getting this beautiful Talon SUL with white leading and trailing edges. Red thread a plus. Photos by Mark Clemens. This is going to look amazing in the sunlight and under the lights.
Memorial bench for OzoneJim (Jim Strealy). Photos taken by Brian Champie June 27th, 2013. The Rev Jim was flying when he passed is buried beneath the concrete as shown. Note the lines on the concrete emulating the shape of a Rev. Please use the magnifying glass above the collage to view individual pictures at full size.
Friday, June 28, 2013. A Wind Of Change closes its doors in Las Vegas. They are moving to Salt Lake City. Kent Kingston, boxes up inventory in 100°+ factory 2nd floor setting. I will miss Kent. He's a good guy.
That same evening, Mark, Darren and I showed up as the only 3 at the Friday Night Fly. Mark had his Wozniak Indaura with Odie drooling. This is based on the Jeff Howard Wren.
I have an Indaura with a Felix the Cat and an Indaura with a large rooster. Should stack those bad boys.
And with less backlighting.
Mark with his trademark cigar, Tilley and new kite.
This is a Robert Randolph Mohawk SUL Mark owns. Most of the photos were blurry, but a couple turned out pretty sweet.
Last photo as the sun set in the West.
Redo of previous photo with a lightening added to the kite.
Friday, June 21, 2013 New Silverbowl Park. Mark had this Gomberg bee. The drogue chute is also the bag for this soft kite.
I like the bee, but the inflatable wings never inflated and we had to add a longer tail for stability.
Angel works on the wings for a relaunch.
I hope we can get this guy figured out. It sure is good looking.
Mark also had a recently acquired Mohawk XS made by Sportkitedesign of Sweden. The original design was done by Robert Randolph and is now made under license. Although the kite has been tweaked a bit from the original design.
This kite is a trickster for sure. Yoyos were very easy.
I like the bold, simple graphics along with the pinstriping.
Cascades take a different timing than I am use to. Wingspan at 222 cm (87.4 inches).
The sun was setting and I was shooting with the pocket camera set to Shutter Speed Priority.
I liked this photo last night, but it was just too dark, except for the sky. So I went back and worked on the Level Adjust within a new layer, then put the 2 layers back together. The sky should look the same, but everything else should look much brighter. Hope I didn't go too far. Let me know.
The wind was good so we then settled in for an evening of flight.
Saturday, June 15, 2013 Las Vegas, NV. All photos of the huge L'Aterlier Transfer xt.s vv (variable vented) taken by Bambi Chilese.
So Bambi and I walked across the street from our house to get some shots of Kent Kingston's stunning Transfer. Kent, I did not drag the kite across the rocks, honest. The bridle was set fairly heavy, so in the lighter winds I wrapped the upper outhaul once around the leading edge connector to change the angle of attack.
So if you have about $600 + shipping from France this 8'8" well made sport kite can be yours. Note the unusual bridle split at the lower outhauls.
Temperature was around 100°F in the late afternoon when we went out for these pictures.
I'm on the 30 foot lines, holding the kite as steady as I can while Bambi snapped off about 200 photos.
Winds were a little less than ideal and very bumpy.
The upper 12 ports can be opened or closed by removing mylar panels from the pocketed rear sections of the sail. Yes, there is a green sunspot over most of my shirt and the general middle right section of the photo.
Until you stand next to this 2.65 meter wingspan kite it just looks normal. Framed in 7PT spars (according to their website), this is a heavy duty machine, meant to handle high winds. (I checked, this kite has 8P lower spreaders. Don't know what the leading edges are.) Okay, I've been told the entire kite is framed in 8P rods.
Oh in case you thought I forgot, here is the kite backlit.
You can see the reinforced mylar blocking the upper vented areas. The lower slots are permanently open.
And then we hurried back inside to get a drink and cool off. Sweet kite. Looking forward to flying it before it goes home to Kent.
June 14, 2013 New Silverbowl Park, NV. Mark had up his Robert Brasington train (called Star Of Lois) with Organza tails. Winds were very bumpy.
Darren helped untangle the tail of the 4th kite. For some reason, that one kept wrapping on the line.
Love the Organza tails.
Sunday, June 9th, 2013: Bob Matteo is in town for some continued learning. This is the 4th time we were able to get together since 2008. And this year, as a bonus, we even had wind. Sadly, the high was 115°F. But it was down to 105° by the time he arrived at Patriot Park around 6:30 PM.
Bob had his custom Rev 1.5 with green race rod frame. I didn't even know there was a green race rod.
Winds were very bumpy. We had a great time and even switched for a while. I flew his Rev, he flew my Quantum Pro.
So we flew some and took photos. Later we would go to Big Dog's for a Philly Cheese Steak, sweet potato fries and a brewed in the building Root Beer. Very nice.
I like the black center of this Rev. Most I've seen have a white center.
You can see how the vertical rods form channels to aid in flight.
Last photo before we went for dinner. Hope to see Bob soon.
May 31, 2013 New Silverbowl Park, Las Vegas, NV. Mark holds the 2 Reprise kites together while Ian works on assembly. Ian owns the Rubin/White Reprise Prototype in the back and Mark just received Reprise dated 5/13. There are many subtle differences between the 2 kites.
Ian checks on some of the differences between the 2 kites. He really admires the improvements Ken McNeill has made from his prototype, but is still happy having the 1st Reprise.
The new Reprise has a double scalloped front top wing with batten and different reinforcements. This one also has black pinstriping. Very nice.
Ian holds Mike's dinner while Mike figures out the best way to connect the front and rear sections. Mark is patiently watching and learning on the left.
The tail is much cleaner on the new Reprise with spars hidden within pockets. Very neat.
At first glance, the 2 kites look identical. But you can see many build differences. Ian said the new Reprise is a much improved design.
By the way, the Reprise looks absolutely beautiful.
I rarely drop into the Black/White/Greyscale mode these days. A photo has to be really bold to handle the loss of color information. I felt this photo could handle the transition. So harken back to a simpler time my friends. I did do a Level Adjust a bit more toward the dark end.
The same photo, but with the contrast pushed a fair amount. It's a matter of preference. This was done for a fellow kiter as a comparison.
A comparison of the 2 previous photos showing the effect of using a higher contrast. It helps if you use the magnifying glass above the photo to examine the areas at full scale. This is over 24 Megapixels. If your monitor is over 2 years old, you may have a more difficult time seeing the 3 circles of high contrast. NOTE: Higher contrast does not mean better. It's a matter of preference.
Winds were very light, so I asked Mark to just keep the kite off the ground while I took a few pics. Please excuse the sunspots. I was shooting into the sun with our pocket camera. It did very well.
Even when the kite doesn't have the benefit of backlighting, it still looks great.
I just like the symmetry of this photo.
These are Mark's colors of choice on his custom kites.
Later, Dave showed up with a distinctive dye-sublimation printed single panel Revolution. He does think the kite would have looked a bit better if the 2 exclamation points were done in a yellow to match the lightning bolt and snake.
So, for Dave, I changed the exclamation points to Yellow in software. Wow, I do like it better this way.
Which one do you like better?
May 25, 2013. This is a stunning V-Masque by L'Atelier. My left hand is also holding the Shane Hill made flying handle used for left handed piloting while taking pictures with the camera in my right hand.
The story goes: Ben Liptak bought the sail from Bilboquet. Paul Shirey framed the kite in Nitro rods and pimped it out in typical AeroStar style. Then Frazer Worley bought it. Then Mark bought it from Frazer. Somewhere in that chain, some repair work was done by Ken McNeill. Wow, what a history. You can read about the Shirey build process here: http://v2.2.kiteclique.com/atelier-v-masque/
This is a 2.4 meter, very loud, medium speed kite. I flew it today in 12 mph winds. I love this kite.
The wind was in the wrong direction to get a backlit shot while flying, so I asked this nice young man to hold the kite for me.
I truly enjoyed flying this noisemaker. I would describe it as mean and nasty sounding. Lazy Susans looked really nice.
May 24, 2013 New Silverbowl Park, NV. Ian flies his HQ SLK for me. Photos taken with our pocket camera.
Rob tames his rainbow box kite.
We had 2 Geckos this evening. Wayne has this 2 tone green one going up as line laundry. Love the clouds.
And here it is inflated.
Meanwhile Brian practices slide-outs on the baseball diamond infield.
He is such a kid.
This is the 2nd Gecko of the evening. Looks like he is begging.
I asked Wayne to fly the Opium up near the lights just before the sun set.
Mark with his new/used Geo-Pointer.
May 17, 2013 New Silverbowl Park, NV. Dave and Mike launch one of their foils.
Dave also launches his RWB ROK with matching tube tail. That's the UNLV football stadium in the background.
Saturday, May 18, 2013 in the vacant lot across the street from our house in Las Vegas, NV. This is the Venom.
The Venom is the largest sport kite made by Shawn Tinkham of Viper Sport Kites. It's just over 100" in wingspan.
All Venom photos by Bambi Chilese. I'm flying/stalling the Venom on my 30' lineset, used only for photos. Wow, Bambi must be at full zoom as we're not really that close to the mountains, Pep-Boys or the power lines. Lots of compression.
The Venom is a very loud, slow moving kite with good precision and lots of tricks. My first real yo-yo was on a Venom.
I went back through the photos and have added a few more.
Me in the lot across from our house. I was very careful to not hurt the kite on the rocks. I'm working on keeping the Venom in a stall so Bambi can take the photos. Winds were a bumpy 12 mph or so.
A different angle for the Venom.
I couldn't get a backlit flying shot as the wind was blowing in the wrong direction. So I held up the Venom while Bambi took these shots. Hmmmm, looks like I'm putting a bend on the leading edge. Oops. By the way, this is about the normal view of the mountains from our house.
Looking forward to flying this before I have to return it to Mark, who bought it used from a friend.
Friday, May 10, 2013 New Silverbowl Park, Nevada. Brian swings by on his Peter Lynn buggy.
Brian has a 2nd dog now. This is Ivan. He's quite young and friendly.
Meanwhile, Ian sorts out the tails and lines to his new Dyna-Kite 12 stack. I always confuse Hyper-Kites with Dyna-Kites.
There are 4 whites, 4 greys and 4 blacks with matching tails.
Ian was hoping to get a shot for his Facebook page. So these have been formatted for possible use there.
The stack evokes a peaceful feeling, but they can pull pretty well when the wind picks up.
I took over 500 photos hoping to get the right shot. Stacks never photograph as well as I would like.
Ian would fly the stack anywhere I wanted and slow them down for me.
I was shooting on 1/4000th of a second to make sure there was no blur.
Although 2 of the black kites are cut off, this was my favorite shot.
I asked Ian to go across the setting sun quite often. You'll see a fair amount of color fringing in many of these photos.
Maybe he'll use this one.
This one looks good. Although there is a bit of red in the palm tree.
I was told the front triangle is called the Ghost. It takes the load off the first kite.
Sort of artsy, sort of throw it away.
Shooting into the sun always is an experiment. There are a few pixels that freaked (red, lower right). I've fixed them on my photo, but these versions may have a few "glitches".
Last stack photo Ian. Hope there is one in here you like.
Angel holds up a Sweety indoor kite by Wolfgang Siebert. Made in Germany.
You have got to love backlit mylar.
Saturday, May 4, 2013 Patriot Park, Las Vegas, NV. This is the park I usually go to for flight. Mark met me there and we finally got some air shots of his beautiful recent acquisitions.
Electric Slim with 10 meter tail made by Robert Brasington.
Winds were very bumpy and I was shooting with our pocket camera.
Robert Brasington SLK.
And a slightly different angle.
Regal Papillion #11 made by Joel Scholz and signed Aug 9, 1994. Gosh, this kites almost 19 years old.
In our bumpy winds a tail would have helped. Plus, we left off 2 battens which would have stiffened the wings about midway.
Nicely made and signed by Joel. I didn't know his middle initial was K.
Willi Koch Rok, Elliot Kites
Slightly out of focus. Mark flies the Rok in light winds.
There is no way to center the vertical rod. Hmmmm, we'll have to work on that.
The sun had retreated behind the clouds. This very large and pretty Premier Luna Moth had some sewing and fitting issues on the wings and antennae. Too bad, as there were about a dozen kids who wanted to see this one fly. Hey Premier, step up the QC a bit. Thanks. We splintered one of the fiberglass antenna battens as it was. There might need be a bit of fitting rework in the head area.
Friday, May 3, 2013 New Silverbowl Park. Mark holds onto a Robert Brasington "Electric Slim" with 10 meter matching tail.
Sadly, the wind was a little too light for this beauty. Perhaps another time.
Mark also had this 6 stack of Brasington SLKs compete with Organza tails.
Here are all 6 of the kites, although the tails flow offscreen.
I just wanted to show the tail. There is a slight red shimmer to the tails at times.
You can see the red shimmer on the left hand side.
I still don't know anything about this kite received from Ben Dantonio. It is framed in G-Force Skinnies and powers up quickly in light wind. I would put it in-between a Widow Maker UL and Benson Inner Space for wind range. Very impressive with excellent precision and some tricks.
Sure wish I knew who made this kite.
We did have enough wind for Mark's Betancourt AirMaster. I had Wayne fly the kite near the sun for an experiment in strong backlighting. This is an old-school low aspect ratio excellent flier.
These are the actual colors of the Airmaster.
The colors are going to get pretty funky after this.
I am a sucker for applique.
I did bring the Nikon D5000 for these photos.
Yeah, that's some strong backlighting.
What a beauty.
(l-r) Ali, 1 month old Eli, and Jake. Our newest fliers. Jake was incredible for his first time with a sport kite. Look at how tall that Airmaster is compared to the Widow Maker UL.
Friday, April 19, 2013 at New Silverbowl Park. Mark had a bunch of kites he had acquired over the last several months. Now that the sun was staying up later, we had a chance to take some photos in the waning light. Looks like the right keeper bridle line has gone missing
This is the Killer Bee Drone made by Ken McNeill of Blue Moon kites (designed by Russ Faulk of the Chicago Fire). And yes, it does look like the sail has 2 different colors for the main body and wings.
Killer Bee by Ken McNeill of Blue Moon kites. The 2 yellows are different between the left and right side.
By the time I finished shooting the first kite, there wasn't going to be time to get airborne shots of the other seven. So Mark held while Mike, Ian and Darren assembled. This is the K2 by Ken McNeill when he was Aerie Kiteworks.
Exile "Moonie" by Ken McNeill of Blue Moon kites.
I started using the flash just to make sure the kites would photograph well as the sun set. This is a custom Texas Wasp. Please send any info you have, I know very little about this one.
Another Texas Wasp. I really like this color scheme.
V-Masque by L'Atelier (the workshop). This kite looks amazing.
Zilla by Bob Childs
And there you have Mark's latest 8 used kites.
As the sun was still barely up, thought I'd take some photos of the prototype Aura "Spider". Yes, that is an awesome looking kite.
No flash, so many of these photos were a bit blurry. However, this one came out very well. Hmmm, it looks like there is a dual-line set barely visible in the background. That little pocket camera handled the sun very well, although there is some circular banding.
See, the sun was really low.
I was hoping to show the sparkly web that Wayne sewed onto the wingtip panels. The picture doesn't do the sparkle justice. Thanks Wayne and Jon for the wonderful gift. Note that the leading edge tunnel is smaller than usual. This was an experiment.
These were the choices Sky Burner Kites gave the GWTW Forum for voting purposes. Results of the vote on the next photo.
Results of the GWTW Aura color scheme voting. The top 4 are O, D, B, N.
April 12, 2013 at New Silverbowl Park. New fliers Angel and Rob showed up for some flying in light wind. These are the kites they flew. Angel is ready to fly by herself, almost. Angel flew the Inner Space with assistance and for a few seconds by herself, Rob flew all three, Talon SUL, Inner Space, Aura Prototype SUL.
March 29, 2013 New Silverbowl Park. Wayne had an on loan Fearless Devil Mid-Vent. The sun was almost down and I was using our pocket camera. Most of the pictures were too blurry, this one was barely acceptable.
Close-up of the venting on the Fearless Devil. Hmmm, looks like there might be a blue tint to the photo.
I like the waves in the kite, but find the eyes a little too much, and I normally love eyes.
Oddly, this photo came out pretty well, after some Photoshop work. Ian was flying now.
Similar angle and a surprisingly good shot.
Ian now holds the Fearless Devil in a hand stall. You can see how low the sun was. Clearly, we were past primetime for photos.
This is Wayne's Lam Hoac kite, the Tekken DOA. Flash used for this photo.
Later, I asked Kent to hold up the new (temporarily) kite on the block.
Our new fliers Kathi and Scott. Bo (the dog) did not fly. I still don't know the name of this kite, but they did very well with it considering the wind had dropped to almost nothing. Hopefully, they'll be back for more.
March 21, 2013. Our backyard in Las Vegas. All photos by Bambi Chilese, except this one. I wonder what could be in the really cool bag....
Ron Bohart Masterpiece Revolution. Finishing by Barry Poulter. This is my happy face. Actually I should have brought out my sunglasses. So I will be squinting a lot.
So Kent hands me 3 very cool Revs yesterday and asks if I'd like to take pictures. Winds were squirrely and I didn't want to take the kites to the park so Bambi and I did the shoot in our backyard with really squirrely winds.
Winds were from the West and shifted often to North. This photo is a little bit out of focus. I may ditch it later.
This is what I look like when I'm squinting and trying not to hurt a very expensive kite.
The Bohart Series looks a lot better from the front. You will see a blue tint on the kite in the next photo.
You can see Bazzer's scribble on the inset. On the kite, it is very inconspicuous on the back side. This photo has a blue tint to it which was removed in the previous photo.
Well, what else do we have? How about half of all the new Randy Tom Lady Samurai Masterpiece Revs. With significant airbrush work.
Obligatory backlit shot. The rods are not bending, it is the sail which is billowing in the gusty wind. A lot of the airbrush work is lost from this direction of light.
Bambi was a trooper considering how crummy the wind was. We shot over 200 pictures.
Sadly, no fluffy clouds to add to the ambiance.
The kite still looks pretty good from the back, but the kites are really made to look at from the pilot's point of view.
These are my 40 foot photo lines for quad-lines.
Close-up of the artwork. Sweet.
And our final kite of the trio is a Masterpiece "New York Minute" designed by Ben Dantonio of Revolution Kites. I had seen another one containing black along the top. Now I don't know which one I like better.
This one does not have the initials N.Y.M. under the Revolution logo.
Yep, still squinting.
A leading edge end cap had come off during one of our "land bumps". We didn't notice at the time and shot many photos which I chose not to use. Fortunately, this one was salvaged by an errant pine tree branch. Hope you liked the 3 Masterpiece Revs.
Photo: Kelly Moore Location: Hermann Park, Houston TX Here, Steven Moore flies the Gomberg delta Bambi and I gave them for their wedding present. Wait, is he wearing New Balance 993 customs? It's my favorite shoe. Of course, I could be wrong.
Photo: Kelly Moore. Is Steven that thin? We need to get that lad some cheeseburgers. Happy to see him smiling while flying a kite. They'll try the transition tail next time they're out. We may have created the next kite superstars.
March 15, 2013 at New Silverbowl Park. Amanda and family showed up at the Friday night fly.
Mark holds up a Joel Scholz Luna Moth from the Scott Hampton collection.
Caleb (l) came down from St. George, UT with his family. Here he helps Mark hold a stunning Papillon Joel Scholz SLK.
I asked Caleb and Mark to move over for a backlit shot. The park lights weren't on tonight. This is the single light on the RC car track.
Mark also had this Brasington SLK. Not bad for a no wind Friday evening. All photos from this evening taken with the Sony RX100 without flash.
March 1, 2013 at New Silverbowl Park. Brian and Kent are here to meet up with some movie people who will be making a Nevada promotional video which will include kite sailing and buggy sailing. Winds were light. Almost all photos taken available light with the pocket Sony RX-100 WITH NO post-processing. SADLY, the main park lights were off and we only had some side lighting from the RC car tracks nearby. The outhouse must indicate that there will be an event this weekend. The staff often turns off the lights so people won't "ruin" the field before some cash paying happening.
About 8:30 PM, Brian was able to hang this beautiful 13.4 sqm Peter Lynn Vapor on the tall palm tree at the edge of the grass area. And that bridle was hooked into the palm fronds tenaciously.
Well there was lots of yanking and many people who knew what to do to get the large sail out of the tree. We had many directors and very few workers. Personally, I was busy recording the event . The motion blur you see is me attempting hand held shots with no tripod. Plus I was laughing (a little).
One of the guys had a strong flashlight which allowed this shot to come out okay. Even this was 1/10 of a second and still hand held. Note the f1.8 aperture this amazing pocket camera is using.
Well, it was evident the bridle lines were tangled in the barbed inner stem of a few leaves. Bummer.
Kent tries an angled tug while Brian wonders how to save an $1100 new foil. New to our area, Heyward and Cindy watch.
Brian asks Kent to drive his trailer near the tree so he can use his telescoping banner pole.
Nope, not enough reach. Brian thought about having us move the outhouse onto the trailer. The rest of us thought that was a really bad idea.
The conclusion was to just pull really hard and rescue the foil at the cost of the bridle lines. Still not easy to do as that palm tree was very strong.
Success sort of.
From this point on, the bridle lines were cut to get the foil down. I couldn't watch. The horror, the horror.
Well, I watched just a bit longer. Brian gets ready to cut the lines. I left to teach some new people light wind flying.
Flash on for this shot. Heyward (from Alabama) and his friend Cindy (local) both flew the Inner Space with its new nose. Heyward already knew how to fly. We attempted to teach him an axel, but his fear of hurting the kite (and I respect that) kept him from completion. Another time. He had just purchased an Ocius standard from A Wind Of Change earlier in the day. Cindy flew for the first time. She was wonderful.
It's about 10 PM in a really dark field. With a handheld shot and no flash, this was truly a test of camera and button pusher. Not bad really for 1/4 second exposure.
Meanwhile, the movie people are shooting Brian using an iPad and some weird microphone. The script is in Brian's hand.
Kent holds the script while the 2 "movie people" shoot casting test "footage" for an upcoming Nevada promotional video. I was reaching over my head for the shot. Sorry for the blur. Or is it that Brian is just out of the "focus region"? Yep, Kent's hand and the videographer (love that word) appear non-blurry. I did lessen a strong yellow tint for this photo. Otherwise, every shot is straight from the camera with some cropping done.
Wayne holds onto his Tekken (DOA) by Lam Hoac. Photo taken Feb 22, 2013 at our abbreviated Friday night fly. It was pretty cold for us thin-blooded types in Las Vegas.
Kite Party 11 happens in March. Here is a collage of the hardest working person at the event, Dave Shenkman.
Feb 16, 2013. Suzanna, George and Justin with my Widow Maker UL. Justin has been flying at the park during Western Winterblast fireworks for years. He was flying his Quantum, but winds were low. So all three flew the WMUL. Justin is becoming quite the flier. George also had a stack of Trlbys over 20 years old. Suzanna flew for the first time. She was excellent.
Without the previous year composite. Suzanna, George and Justin. Winds were low and bumpy, but the kids were awesome.
My buddy Steve and I found out that the lower leading edge of the Mojo UL is a 2PT and not a 3PT. Live and learn.
Bambi and I were using our new Sony RX100 pocket camera. Here is a full size (20 MPx) photo straight from the camera and with a Level Adjust applied. I didn't shoot in RAW mode and probably never will.
Skin tones are usually the toughest. I used the flash for fill as the sun was coming toward us. No post-processing done. This just looks pretty good to me. Don't tell Steve he's the model here.
Feb 6, 2013 Las Vegas, NV. Our back yard. Photo by Bambi Chilese. This is the HQ Crackerjack (not quite production model). On loan from Kent Kingston of "A Wind Of Change Kites".
The wind was really blowing about 90° across the yard. So I would swing the kite over as far as possible, start shooting and hope. Accidental tip stab here.
The Crackerjack is a large 2.4m (94.5") tricky sport kite, complete with leech lines, tail weight, Dynamic rod frame and very good construction overall.
I had to cover up several sunspots, but liked the photo overall. These are the first shots with my new (reconditioned) Nikor kit lens after I dropped my camera last week on a tile floor. Fortunately, the camera seems fine.
Winds are always bumpy in Las Vegas, and the trees in the backyard don't help. I did go for the fade here. This is the actual direction the wind was blowing.
Bambi was doing some touchup on the house and I once landed the kite about a foot from a 5 gallon bucket of open paint. That would have been tough to explain.
The Crackerjack comes only in this color configuration. I'm not a fan of blue on kites, but it looks pretty good to me.
Yes, flying and photographing as well. A tip of the hat to my fondly remembered friend Shane Hill who made this handle as a gift years ago. It's always in my "A-Bag" with 15 foot lines ready to go.
The Crackerjack is more of a trick kite than precision. The bridle comes from the factory set heavy and a very tight spin rate. Spin stalls to landings are very easy.
The bridle is 4-point and adjustable to either static or with a short turbo leg. I flew it with the turbo leg and moved the bridle adjustments up about 2 inches.
Later I would take the kite to the park for an evaluation. It must be tricky, I even got a full comete revolution a few times.
The kite is quiet in flight with a slight whooshing sound off the sail. Above about 12 mph or so, the kite gets quite loud. Of course, one can always adjust the leech lines to whatever degree of quiet you like.
I'm not a fan of big logos, but at least you won't forget what kite it is. The line you see is the middle leading edge bridle leg.
Some detail shots. I like the external yo-yo stoppers as they are easy to replace if they ever break.
There is mylar reinforcement on all the right areas. Sewing is very nice throughout and the nose never caught my lines.