Ouse Washes 2015 Calendar

logosBlog post on behalf of one of our key partners, Bill Blake Heritage Documentation:

Ouse Washes 2015 Calendar

 

Following the OWLP conference a limited number of these are now available for sale.

If you would like to purchase one please contact Bill Blake by email at bblake@theolt.com or call 07780 332114 to arrange payment and delivery.

 They are priced at £10+p&p. Strictly first come 1st served.

Details are here: https://ousewasheslps.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/your-2015-ouse-washes-kap-calendar/

 12 original views of the heart of the fens : a perfect seasonal gift!

 

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What is Community KAP?

Logos– This is a guest post by Bill Blake, one of the key partners in the OWLP partnership ; the original version was published at http://billboyheritagesurvey.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/what-is-community-kap/

What is Community KAP?

This is an activity, open to all ages and abilities (subject to appropriate supervision) that is relaxing, fun and places one in the landscape in a unique way.

What is it? KAP stands for Kite Aerial Photography and was invented in the 19th cent by Artur Batut in France, it has caught on in the modern age as we have cheap digital cameras, we are no longer at the mercy of the  plate negative!

The benefit of the method is 2 fold, first the capture of images of the landscape from a new viewpoint, second the flying of kites is good way to spend some time outdoors learning the ways of the wind. Most of the time we tend not to raise our eyes to the sky, most of what concerns our lives is firmly earthbound.  Choosing to look at where we live from the sky can be as easy as browsing Google Earth but what we see there gets fuzzy and indistinct when we look closely at the details of the landscape, recording from the much lower viewpoint a kite offers us a much closer to how we experience the world, just different enough to be new and involving.

KAP groupHow is this a community activity? The best outcomes are from the combined efforts of teamwork: a kite flier and a photographer. As a group activity a variety of outcomes are possible: with patience and a good number of photos an aerial panorama is possible by building up a montage of images, large scale photo-maps are  also made by fitting a ‘carpet’ of images together. By flying several kites together (at a safe distance apart!) surprisingly rich records of the locale are achieved.

What’s special about kite aerial pictures? Simply put it’s the resolution. At the height of the kite patterns and textures are uniquely visible.

Aldreth Causeway High BridgeIs it safe? Because every site has different hazards KAP needs careful planning. This is where I come in: I have been doing this professionally for 5 years now and a risk assessment is made for each location prior to agreeing a safe method of working.  The risks are small but real, kites can give you line burn, make you run backwards into things and end up tangled in trees or worse. Depending on  group ability and desired outcome location and timing are chosen carefully to manage risk. Compared to playing in a football match flying a kite is safe!

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Backs of Houses

Why is this part of Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership? The opportunity to provide the project with arresting images of the landscape acquired by community groups is valuable: to see the landscape from above is revealing, to be part of the process is rewarding. As the project develops many images of habitat, land-use, art projects and event records, are needed to illustrate the landscape on sign-age, site interpretation and web pages.

Drying Washes PymoorCommunity KAP is a project funded by OWLP and is now live, so let’s get started, I’m available for demonstration, talks, risk assessment and project planning for your group!

 

Related OWLP posts:

High in the Sky: Heritage & Landscape photography from above

Heritage Lottery FundLast week I got into contact with Bill Blake, an independent heritage consultant who does an interesting range of work.

One of the things he has developed over the years is the creation of images of landscapes and structures including windmills and Martello Towers, all taken from the sky. This is not done in any conventional way, but he takes photographs with the aid of a kite, with a remote-controlled camera attached to it. This is also known as KAP, or Kite Aerial Photography. See for instance here on Bill’s Flickr site or here, on his blog, to get a better understanding of what KAP involves and how Bill makes his pictures.

The results of Bill’s work are absolutely amazing. No wonder his work has also been exhibited; see for instance this piece in last year’s Cambridge News.

The reason I want to share this information is that Bill is also fascinated by the Ouse Washes, and has made many pictures in this landscape over the last few years. A great number more of his pictures of the Ouse Washes can be found at Bill’s Flickr picture stream.

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Ouse Washes: unseasonal flooding in May 2012. Kite Aerial Photography by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation, all rights reserved.

He kindly allowed me to replicate some of his stunning images which also feature on his Flickr picture stream of the Ouse Washes, giving more people a chance to see the amazing and high-quality imagery. Unlike photographs taken from an aeroplane which are taken from over 300 m high, the kite pictures are taken from about 60 m high, allowing for very good detail in the images.

Talking to Bill, it is clear that he loves this work and has a particular soft spot for the Ouse Washes landscape. He is struck by the strong structures of the landscape, in particular its linearity, evident for instance in the waters, the banks and the Ely – March trainline, all of  which feature regularly in his photographs. Creating one picture can take many hours, allowing Bill to really experience the landscape. It is the tranquility and serenity of the Ouse Washes landscape which are particularly appealing to him.

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The Earith Bulwark flooded, taken early January 2013. Kite Aerial Photography by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation, all rights reserved.

He has also photographed the earthwork remains of the Civil War Bulwark at Earith, some of which are replicated here. As part of the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme, the history of this significant structure will be better revealed, with better access and interpretation forming part of the plans.

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Earith Bulwark from above. Kite Aerial Photography by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation, all rights reserved.

As part of the Delivery phase we will probably work closely with Bill to create some unusual pictures of the landscape and public events held; we might also give school children and other community groups a chance to learn how to create similar images with the aid of a kite. Succesful community kite aerial photography projects have also been done in The Netherlands and Scotland; see for instance here for one such a project which could be replicated for the Ouse Washes.

You can see many more of Bill Blake’s images on Bill’s Flickr pages, and find more information on his blog and professional website.