Flag Ponds Nature Park is a place with hiking trails, ponds, and a large beach in Calvert County, Maryland. The beach is wide open and features an observation deck and large tide pools with interesting shapes. I brought my kite and radio-controlled KAP rig to do some aerial photography. There was a reasonably steady north wind of about 12 mph, which my Rokker kite handled with ease, and the whole process of launching the kite, attaching the rig, taking pictures, and bringing everything back down was uneventful (a good thing!).
The first subject was the observation deck. I started with a very low shot and then proceeded to get one from a bit higher, looking down on it. Both turned out nice. I find it interesting how different the water color looks depending on the viewing angle. At low angles, it reflects the blue of the sky, but looking straight down, it takes on a deep green hue. For the first picture, I was standing very near to the launch point, and the camera was less than 50 ft high. The second one required me to walk along the shore of the tide pool and raise the camera up to 100-200 ft.
Next, I headed towards the shore, where many people were playing on the beach. Interestingly, I hardly saw anyone swimming in the water. That may have had something to do with the posted warning about jellyfish, which are abundant in the waters of the Chesapeake at this time of year. Hunting for crabs is a common activity, though, as is sunbathing. I lowered the kite a bit again to capture the a group of people on the beach, and I chose a 16:9 crop to remove extra sand and water from the composition.
Last, I needed to get a shot from up high to show the shape of the tide pools. I walked up and down the beach while I let out the line but ended up back near the south end of the beach, where I had started out. I had to let out all 700 ft of line and stand at the end of the beach to capture these tide pools, but it was worth the effort to get a picture of this very interesting geography.
I learned later by looking at satellite imagery that this was low tide, and the beach looks entirely different at high tide. The placement of the observation deck also makes a little more sense when you consider high tide. Check it out here! That extreme difference in itself is an excellent reason to come back again when the tide is high. I also did a vlog documenting this KAP session. You can watch it below, and it’s also on my KAP Vlogs page.