Just three weeks after the 1906 Earthquake, professional photographer George Lawrence snapped his famous photograph, “San Francisco in Ruins,” from a 49-pound camera raised 1000 feet above the bay with a train of Conyne kites.

To honor George Lawrence’s feat, and to celebrate the advancements made in earthquake research and awareness, the Drachen Foundation sponsored Kite Aerial Photographer (KAPer) Scott Haefner, USGS geologist, to re-shoot Lawrence’s photo using contemporary kite aerial photography techniques.

Aerial photo of San Francisco by George Lawrence
“San Francisco in Ruins,” by George Lawrence, documents the damage caused by the April 18, 1906 M 7.9 earthquake on the San Andreas fault. Photo from the Library of Congress.

Modern Day Photo

photo of Malcom's boat in the SF Bay
The new photo was taken using a kite-lofted camera, from the bow of Malcolm Johnston’s boat in San Francisco Bay near Treasure Island. Photo by Scott Haefner, USGS.

The Crew