Wakarusa Fest Photos


Just to set the record straight, I’m generally turned off by jam bands, dead heads, and patchouli oil. For the fourth consecutive year, thousands of tye-dye wearing music lovers set up camp at the Clinton Lake State Park for the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival. The four-day festival has basically become what Woodstock was generations ago. Although the music and overall “cultural experience” doesn’t do much for me personally, I’ve always loved photographing the event.


I made plans to shoot aerials of the event from sky aboard an ultralight plane. If the wind cooperates, photographing from ultralight planes can make for a much smoother ride and ultimately produce better photos compared to photographing from a conventional plane. Ultralights also fly at a much slower speed, generally about 30-50 mph, providing more time to compose and frame shots. But photographing from ultralights isn’t as simple as one might think. There are risks, including dropping your cameras and lenses 1500 feet below and less room to maneuver. Afterall, an ultralight is basically a big kite propelled by a lawnmover engine attached to a bicycle seat and a seat belt. It can be a bit spooky.

Either way, it was quite an experience and I was able to make a few photos from the sky before 7 p.m., then high-tail it to the venue for a few ground shots. Enjoy.








Ben Harper performs at Wakarusa Fest 2007.


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