Playing with Infrared – and MASAG α in the Air

Marshes are a perfect target for infrared kite aerial photography, as the interplay of plants and water create an intricate web of patterns when seen in near-infrared light. This can be used for monitoring of such a fragile ecosystem, because the NIR/visual photography brings out small differences, either seasonal or random, like water level changes, spreading of invasive plants, agricultural impact etc.

Full-spectrum photo of a part of a meander at Zagradec marsh

That said, one should make certain at least two things: to bring both the NIR modified camera and a regular camera; and to make sure where the marsh really is.

Red channel image of a full-spectrum (NIR+visual) photo

And so we discovered we forgot the regular camera at home only after we got to the marsh south of Zagradec near Grosuplje, Slovenia; and we found out we missed the heart of the marsh only after we pulled the kite and the camera down …

Red channel image of a full-spectrum panorama

NDVI – normalized difference vegetation index – image computed from the red and the green channel of the panorama above. Few plants can grow in the permanent meanders of Podlomscica river (purple and blue), while the sinkholes of the left are under water only intermittently so the plants grow there vigorously (yellow and red)

Well, not everything was lost – we had some fun playing with the photos, and we had a great opportunity to test the MASAG α kite, a 200 by 160 cm Rokkaku made by Maša and Gregor, in a very turbulent wind. It flew perfectly!

Finishing touches

All the lines are tied, MASAG α is ready for takeoff

Up …

… up …

… and away!

Kite aerial photos shot with NIR modified Pentax WG-10 on a Rokkaku kite (the blue one, not MASAG α).

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