Different designs of camera rigs

My name is Gerome Soriano and I am the Greatest Kite Aerial Photographer of the Philippines.

I have been doing kite aerial photography since 2011 when I did it for my college thesis at the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design.

Now my challenge is to capture kite aerial photographs of the wonderful places and people from all around the Philippines :)

To invite more Filipinos to join me in practicing kite aerial photography.

And to rekindle the Filipino tradition of kite-flying :)

Now I am going to share to you the different types of kite aerial photography rigs.

Or cradles as some call them :)

First off is a very simple rig by Richard Goreckl.


No picavet suspension. Fixed (this one has tilt adjustment). No shutter trigger or intervalometer.

Such rigs usually use camera hacking techniques to trigger the shutter.

One that I know of is CDHK. What you do is know what you want to happen. Some CDHK allows you to "hack" the camera so that it will have and intervalometer.

CDHK stands for Canon Hack Development Kit.

Put the CDHK script or file into the sd card put it inside the camera and test if it's work.

Voila! kite aerial photography rig ready to go :)

For more info on CDHK check out this site: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

Then we have something like this by Mick.

Rotates continuously and take a photograph every 5 seconds.

"The KAP rig, which involves a Picavet Suspension (the cross and string, which is self-leveling), a small geared motor, and some electronics which rotate the camera and fire the shutter every 5 seconds:"


Then the more complicated stuff like mine.

With several servos that are controlled by a radio transmitter.

This one is by Murray Neill.

  1. The whole thing hangs from a picavet suspension system.

    This attaches to the kite line (usually about 30m down the line from the kite) at two points a couple of metres apart. The picavet is one long length of braided cord which the cross above the camera can slide freely on (some use tiny pullys here like the kind used on model sail boats). It ensures the camera stays level in relation to the ground no matter what angle the kite is flying at.
  2. The rig uses three servos which came with a model RC aeroplane kit. These normally have one arm which can move 90 degrees. On a plane they would move flaps up and down. The top servo (2) on this rig has been modified to rotate a full 360 degrees so it can turn the whole rig to look in any direction.
  3. This is the receiver. It takes the signals from the control transmitter on the ground (via the aerial) and sends them to the appropriate servo. You can see three red/black/white wires going from it to each of the servos."

There are a lot of different variations in design with kite aerial photography rigs.

Some are automated. Others are radio controlled.

Some uses small cameras. Other uses heavier cameras.

Some are small. Others are some.

Some even use a pendulum system instead of the picavet suspension.

If you have plans of making your own kite aerial photography rig do let me know. Email me at geromesoriano@gmail.com

And let's see how I can help you :) 

Disqus for Gerome Soriano