All videos have been processed in a similar manner with a proven set of tools. The Runcam5 has a 145º field of view causing significant fisheye distortion of the 4K footage. In most cases this problem has been overcome by filming a sea horizon and then finding optimum correction factors in ShotCut that make this horizon flat.

Using these factors, ShotCut is used to correct lens distortion, then apply modest sharpening and improve colour saturation in cases where an image is muted, for example in evening light. From ShotCut the optimised footage is exported as an 1920×1080 HD file to OpenShot where the videos you see here are finally compiled.

All videos have been saved in HD and are best viewed in this format. However, for the optimum performance on your system click the YouTube gear icon and choose the resolution that best suits your internet speed and monitor.

Port Cornaa, Isle of Man

The shore at Port Cornaa and the wooded glen are popular for the visitors to the north of the Island. In 1890 a group of Swedish businessmen planned to build an explosive works close to the shore but the project was abandoned due to safety concerns and was never completed. The overgrown ruins survive as a picturesque testament to their folly. A waterfall and tidal lagoon add to the attraction, while carpets of bluebells bring colour to the beech woods in spring. The video was shot using a Runcam 5 camera suspended from a Tarot gimbal and my aeronaut suspension. Still pictures were taken with a Canon Powershot.

High above the hills on the Isle of Man

Conditions were very challenging on the day this video was recorded, with winds up to 30 mph and strong gusts over the crest of Injebreck Hill. The stabilised camera panned 360 degrees to take in all the moorland scenery and the Irish Sea in the distance. I was lucky to get the kite and camera rig down without any damage!

Maughold Head, Isle of Man

Here the Runcam 5 camera and panning unit has recorded coastal scenery along the NE coast of the Isle of Man, taking in a famous lighthouse, ancient church and rocky shores facing the Irish Sea. The summit of Maughold Head was fortified in the Iron Age and today provides commanding views towards Scotland and England on clear days.

History and scenery on the Isle of Man

After many weeks of appalling weather with rain and gales, we were promised one fine day with sunshine and light winds – ideal for Kite Aerial Photography! In this video the kite was flown over the northern uplands of the Isle of Man, taking in views of the Sulby Reservoir and part of Sulby Glen. This reservoir is the largest on the Island, completed in 1882, and is held back by a massive gravity dam. There are many abandoned farmsteads in this part of the island, a testament to the harsh life people must have endured in the past. The video shows the ruins of one of these together with the remains of Corrady Keeill – an early Christian chapel of which there are about 180 on the Isle of Man.

Kerroogarroo Fort

Kerroogarroo Civil War Fort, somewhat overgrown with bracken when this video was filmed in June 2021. Located on the Northern Plain of the Isle of Man, it was built by the 7th Earl of Derby in the 1640s with the intention of defending the Island against possible attack by Cromwell’s army.

The earth banks are massive and will have required extraordinary volumes of soil to be moved. The top was probably crowned by a timber palisade for extra protection. History offers no convincing evidence that it was permanently occupied and geophysical survey has revealed no traces of any internal structures.

Also, why it was located here remains a mystery.

Rue Point, Isle of Man

Rue Point, a popular recreation area flanked by spectacular beaches on the northern edge of the Isle of Man.

Much of this area is a National Nature Reserve with rare Lichen Heath and is an important breeding site for sea birds.

Post glacial uplift has left a raised beach some way inland which is clearly seen in this footage captured in low evening light.

Rue Point Panorama

Epiacum Roman Fort, Cumbria

The Roman fort of Epiacum is situated a few miles NW of Alston, in Cumbria, England. Also known as Whitley Castle, the fort is one of the best preserved in Britain and is lozenge-shaped, rather than the usual rectangular plan form, with up to seven steep ramparts presenting formidable defences against attack. First constructed in the second century, it was rebuilt in around 200 AD, and then again about 300 AD. There is some evidence that the fort overlies earlier prehistoric remains dating from the Iron Age. Epiacum is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument owned as part of Castle Nook Farm, and cared for by Epiacum Heritage who work to promote research of this important site and encourage public engagement. There is an excellent visitor centre and farm shop. No lens correction has been applied. This explains why the kite line appears curved.

Calanais Stones, Isle of Lewis

The amazing monument of standing stones at Calanais was built almost 5000 years ago at a time when the climate was warmer and sea level was lower. The Neolithic people who erected the stones survived on a diet of deer, sheep, cattle and fish, all of which must have been plentiful. The site may have been used to observe astronomical events and served as a focus for important ceremonies. Over time the stones became buried in up to 5 feet of peat which was cleared in 1857 on the instructions of Sir James Matheson. Traces of this ‘peat tide mark’ can still be seen on the stones today. There are a number of satellite monuments nearby one of which, Calanais 2, features briefly in this video. No correction has been made for distortion from the wide-angle lens: this explains why the horizon and kite line are curved. The wind was really too strong to fly that day, causing the kite to move about and produce swinging in the video.

Bee attack, Jurby, Isle of Man

This was a bit surprising! During a test flight near Jurby, Isle of Man, the camera rig was attacked by a swarm of bees.

A specialist has taken a look at the ‘Squadron Leader’ whose large eyes tells that these are male drones in pursuit of a Queen.

They were obviously cross that the kite got in the way of their romantic endeavours!

Barony Hill, Isle of Man

Barony Hill in Maughold Parish rises to 201m and provides commanding views in all directions. This must explain why the summit is the site of a large prehistoric cemetery dating from the Bronze Age in the centre of which a medieval chapel or keeill was built – Rhullick Keeill Vael. This building now survives only as a heap of rubble but geophysical survey reveals the associated enclosure, plus prehistoric ditches, cable ducts and strong star-shaped magnetic features caused by lightening strikes. A geophysical survey has been made of the large field that includes the keeill and reveals many buried features, including prehistoric ditches, cable ducts, a crashed aircraft and points where lightening strikes have magnetised the ground.

Click for plan of geophysical survey
Point of Ayre, Isle of Man

Point of Ayre, Isle of Man

A flight over the Point of Ayre on the northeast tip of the Isle of Man provides a striking image of Robert Stevenson’s lighthouse which began operation in 1818. These pictures were recorded with the Sony Cybershot. The Ayres National Nature Reserve extends SW and sparkles with gorse and heather flowers in late summer. The unspoilt beach is a bracing walk at any time of year.

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Cashtal yn Ard

Cashtal yn Ard, Isle of Man

A flight in February above Cashtal yn Ard (Castle of the Heights) in Maughold Parish, Isle of Man. The standing stones are the remains of a large Neolithic (2000 BC) chambered tomb originally covered with an earth mound. The site was excavated in 1930 and 1999.

St Patrick’s Keeill, Isle of Man

St Patrick’s Keeill, Jurby (Kickle Keeill in Manx Gaelic) survives as a substantial ruin a few hundred metres South of the Parish Church. This is an example of an early Christian chapel dating to the 14th or 15th century of which about 180 are known on the Isle of Man. Pebbles gathered on local beaches comprise much of the wall fabric. Excavations showed that the building overlies prehistoric burials, a common practice at the time, presumably to ‘de-paganise’ an existing landscape. In the 1740s the keeill was extended to function as a school, but since then much stone has been lost. Geophysical survey of the enclosing ground has revealed a number of enigmatic features.

St Patrick’s Keeill Panorama

Jurby, Isle of Man

St Patrick’s Church, Jurby, Isle of Man, was completed in 1817 and is a prominent landmark for sailors and aviators.

The building is planted on the site of an early Christian chapel, or keeill, beneath which is a prehistoric burial ground testifying to the enduring religious significance of this spot.

Jurby Church was adopted by the R.A.F. during WWII for whom there is a graveyard for those British, Commonwealth and Polish airmen who died while training from nearby Jurby Airfield.