It was too windy to use the balloon equipment, so we tested various camera and rig combinations on our 2 kites.
We are hoping to make a full Canal balloon run on the next calm wind free weekend. We will keep you posted.
Technical notes: I used my daughter's 10 megapixel 3 year old Canon SD 880 Powershot.
Safidy Andrianantenaina showed me that switching the camera from Auto Program mode to ISO 800 made a massive difference in the amount of blurry pictures. Will try again at ISO 400 to reduce overexposure on white areas of aerial.
I also found that my daughter's "Hello Kitty" rubberized cloth hair bands works much better than the regular rubber bands, which have a tendency to snap at the wrong moment.
I managed to get the CHDK Camera script program working on my camera, shooting every 10 seconds, which was much better than "Continuous" mode with the rubber band.
Gena used a Canon Powershot 3100 IS the rubber band technique, which made for more blurry shots, but many more pictures to choose from.
3 big technical innovations for the bottle rigs we used:
1 - we taped window foam insulation tape on the inside of the bottle rigs - this makes for a much more stable camera.
2 - we cut a hole in the side of the bottle rig to allow us to just push the "take picture" button with the "ready to hang on kite" camera bottle rig.
This avoids the last minute scramble of of trying to put the camera in bottle rig, while someone else is fighting with the kite.
3 - we developed the concept of a "bird's eye" rig - where the camera is mounted to take pictures at an angle, rather than straight down (traditional aerial photography).
Though useless for mapping, I've found people at community presentations respond better to "bird eye view" picture than to the traditional map aerial photograph.
We will be testing this new camera rig in tandem with our existing mapping rig in our next balloon outing.
There are some samples here of how we use the kite and balloon pictures for community presentations on Gowanus site discussion issues.
Happy flying !