Nicolas Chorier doesn’t need to worry about air-traffic control, or flight plans, or crowded runways. He doesn’t need to worry about fuel costs, or harnesses, or parachutes. What Nicolas Chorier needs to worry about is the wind. “"The wind is completely my boss,” he admits. “[It] decides if I can shoot, when I can shoot, where I can shoot, and what I can shoot. Without the wind, I'm unemployed."
And it’s very true. Nicolas, a professional photographer born in France and living the past 9 years in India, specializes in kite aerial photography. As he puts it, his art is comprised of “a few square feet of fabric, a touch of technical know-how, a whiff of a breeze, and lo, there is birdy on the remote.” For the last 15 years, Chorier has been perfecting his very specialized art.
His kite, which he made himself, is designed from the tenets of traditional Japanese rokkaku dado construction. He has modified the design to add stability and to add support for the weight of the digital SLR which he mounts in a small cradle hung from the kite’s string. He operates his kite’s-eye-view camera through a remote control like that for a toy airplane; however, this is no child’s toy. His remote is linked to a video which allows him to see what the camera is seeing, and at the precise moment that he’s framed a desired image through his lens, he’s able to click a button on the remote control as if it were the camera itself.