Portsmouth International Kite Festival 18'

We were lucky enough to have been commissioned by Portsmouth City Council to photograph the kite festival this year.

Having always enjoyed kites and the Kite Festival we were thrilled with the opportunity and immediately began planning our flights. We're so lucky to have this event in Portsmouth which is a privilege, and the icing on the cake is this event is FREE! It was our first event of this size and complexity. We love challenges and embraced this one with open arms.


Here's what Portsmouth City Council have to say about the event:

Despite the weather the skies above Southsea Common were filled with a whole range of kites of all shapes and sizes on the 11th and 12th of August for the 27th Portsmouth International Kite Festival. This event is organised jointly by Portsmouth City Council and the Kite Society of Great Britain. It is always a highlight in our event calendar with kite fliers from around the world travelling to Portsmouth to show off their kites. It is such a family event with something to keep everyone entertained and a particular highlight is always the World’s Smallest Kite company who run free kite making workshops throughout the event inspiring young and old alike to fly a kite. The festival also includes a huge range of impressive large static kites as well as skilfully flown kites performing tricks and routines to music.
— Lydia Mellor - Portsmouth City Council

DAY ONE - Solent Sky Services (pilot) & Jeeves Media (camera)

Having arrived onsite (2 min walk from our office) and met with the Kite Society, and Portsmouth Councils event manager, we began putting the finer details of our flight plan into place after ensuring we had all the relevant permissions. Portsmouth City Council really know how to organise and run a super successful event. We did order summer weather but it was a bit over cast on the day... Here's a few photos we took from the ground:

We had originally planned to fly from outside of the event but we had the opportunity to fly from within the kite display arena. Having discussed our flight plans, emergency procedures and brought everyone under our control within set distances we were almost ready to go! 

The team on this day was our Mike Woods (pilot) and Jeeves from Jeeves Media (camera op).

At about 6 mins to the end of our flight window we were not fully satisfied we could fly safely. We were about to pack up and fly from outside and then the event PA system sprung into life and we were able to comply with our additional control measures we had planned to fly safely. This involved ensuring the take off and landing areas were clear ready for us to take off and land and being fully aware of the flight paths of all of the kites. As planned and expected the flight went well and without a hitch. The video can be found at the base of this blog so please take a look! 

Portsmouth Kite Festival from the ground

DAY TWO - Michael (pilot) & Sara Woods (camera) - Solent Sky Services

Day two at the Portsmouth Kite Festival! Having quite literally recharged our batteries - and the drones, we headed on over to check out the kites on show. An amazing display of vibrant kites which brought colour to the dull skies. It was a bit busier on day TWO and they had no slots available for us to fly from t the arena. We decided to leave it until later in the afternoon and fly from outside to ensure we could fly safely and legally.

We had a great weekend and want to share with you our video that we've put together which includes some drone footage! So sit back and enjoy this short video. Like our content? Please do subscribe to our blogs. Also due to popular demand we will be upping the ante' on our YouTube channel to bring you more of the 'behind the scenes' and daily life at Solent Sky Services. We want to share our ups and downs (literally), tips and tricks with you!


To find out more about Kite Festivals and The Kite Society click here

It's not entirely straight forward flying a drone safely, legally whilst ensuring the footage you capture is just as you want it. We have to consider wind speed, direction, NOTAM'S (in this case for kites!), distances to people, structures and vessels not under our control and of course rain. Our drones are not water proof so we have to be super careful with this. Don't let this put you off flying as a hobbyist or even obtaining permission for commercial operations just please be aware of the legalities and why they're in place.

It's always important that if you want to use drone footage for commercial gain you use a legal, insured, properly trained pilot who holds permission for commercial operations. It's not just for safety and to comply with the law, you WILL get much better results. For example a professional operator will be taking into consideration things like shutter speed, ND filters and correctly exposing images to ensure the footage is just right. 

We also met this awesome jacket wearing jimmy pupper having a heckin' good time on his first ever walk!


A bit back to front but stay tuned for our blog on Beach Dubbin 18'