March 22, 2016 AT 6:00 pm

Saltscapes #ArtTuesday

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Salt ponds can be blue, green, orange, yellow or even deep magenta depending on their level of salinity (and the microorganisms attracted to that specific level of salinity) . Photographer Cris Benton has photographed many of San Francisco’s South Bay salt ponds in stunning detail. Via InPerspective

Cris Benton captures San Francisco’s South Bay salt ponds and marshes in various states of restoration using kite aerial photography. Excerpted below is our interview with the author, along with a selection of his photography of Cargill’s South Bay operations:

Can you describe a little bit about the methods involved in kite aerial photography (KAP)?

Cris Benton: The idea is to lift a camera from somewhere around head height to altitudes of up to 400 ft above the ground. You launch the kite and fly it up to steady air.

After the kite reaches steady air you fly it for about 10 minutes to satisfy yourself that the wind is reliable and the kite is performing well. And then, while the kite flies above, you attach a little string and pulley suspension to the kite line. To the pulley system, you attach the camera, which is held in a small robotic cradle.

Using radio control the cradle can point the camera in any compass direction, tilt it from the horizon to straight down, and with the flip of a switch change from portrait to landscape format. The radio control also fires the camera when you want to take the photograph.

See more and learn more about Sea Salt Ponds here!

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