Nicolas Chorier

Nicolas Chorier – Pondicherry – India

I was born in Nigeria in 1962, where my parents were working for a UK based import/export company. Grown in France, and apart numerous small jobs, I’ve worked 20 years as a sound and light ingeneer in show business.
A serious accident pushed me to end that job in 1995.
I have always been a photo enthousiast since my teenage. I got my first camera when I was a kid. It was a 6×6 from the fifties. Then a 135mm from my father at 12 years old. I’ve growned up with the weekly family slideshow by the fire place, with hundreds of Kodachrome taken by my father during his 20 years spent in Africa…
These slideshows, and the stories my father used to tell us, my sisters and I, are definitely the basis for my love for photography and travels.
I was flying kites for years, and I first travelled in 1996 in India for doing a photo report about traditionnal kite making in all South East Asia. I was already aware that kite aerial photography was existing since 1888 (yes !). I decided to try this technique during that first trip, and quickly started exploring its potential. I’ve always liked to fly, liked everything which could fly, and I’ve always been very interested in ecology, eco-friendly means. Using a kite powered only by the wind, was a challenge to do aerial photography. As it requires a lot a handcraft skills (electronic, physics, sewing…), i loved the idea of getting into that.”


  • 2011 : large prints in « Art Chennai ».
  • 2010 : open-air exhibition in Pondicherry, during the « Bonjour India Festival ».
  • 2010, Coromandel Gallery, Pondicherry.
  • 2009 : open air exhibition at « Le Jardin du vent », Notre Dame des Monts, France.
  • 2008 : Invited for the Salon du Livre, bookfair in Montpellier.
  • 2007 : Mumbai, Delhi, Madras and Bangalore.
  • 2005 to 2006 : Alliance Francaise in 9 big indian cities, sponsored by French Embassy in India.
  • 2006 : Long Beach, Washington DC.
  • 2005 : France, travelling exhibition for RRF (réseaux férrés de France), for the launch of the LGV Est Paris/Starsbourg , national « very-fast-train ».
  • 2004 : Berck, during the International Kite Festival.
  • 2002-2003 : part of a travelling exhibition in 20 US States, showing what Kite Aerial Photography means. A Drachen Foundation project.
  • 2003 : Artist in residence in New Smyrna, Florida.
  • 2003 : Ganges, South of France.


  • India, since 1998: 12 years shooting intensively, and publication of a big coffe-table book “Kite’s Eye View, India”, in 2007, with Roli Books Publishers, Delhi.
  • Brazil, (2001-2002) aerial survey on some experimental culture fields in Matto Grosso, commissionned by a major French agronomical research department.
  • Laos, in 2004, commissionned by the UNESCO, shooting the city of Luang Prabang, along the banks of the Mekong river, for surveying erosion problems.
  • Uzbekistan in 2004, for an extensive survey of all heritage sites along the Silk Road, for the magazine “Grands Reportages”.
  • Mexico, in 2005, experimenting aerial imaging on whale watching activities, project of the Drachen Foundation.
  • Some lectures about Kite Aerial Photography for architects and students.
  • France, from 1998 to 2009, freelance kite aerial photographer, working for architects, builders, town planners, tourism, medias, archeology, etc. “Takes off” by thousands.


  • Official calenders for Pondicherry Tourism and Karnataka Tourism in 2011
  • 2010 : Kyoto Journal, Japan. “Silk road, Uzbekistan”.
  • Different brochures for tourism in India
  • Coffee-table book « Kite’s Eye View, India between earth and sky » with Rolibooks Publishers from Delhi in 2007. Co-editions in France with La Martiniere, in Germany with Frederking und Thaler, Anova Books in UK.
  • VSD Spécial, le 26 sept 2007, 6 pages.
  • “Grand Reportages”, travel magazine. In 2006 (Numero Special Silk Road), 2005 (photos from Hampi), 2004 (Varanasi on front cover).
  • “Vent Sud”, several times in 2003 and 2004 (Tourism magazine)
  • “Planète Cerf-volant”, in 97 and 98.
  • “Cerf-Volant Passion”, many times between 98 and 2000.
  • My work on an old Fort in Rajasthan helped the restoration team to receive an Excelence Award from Unesco in 2005.
  • Drachen Foundation journal, Seattle, USA.
  • Many medias releases in France and Europe, in press and magazines.

J ust as man is spawning newer and advanced forms of technology, one man is resorting to a perhaps forgotten art: and reviving it, so much so that even modern technology can marvel at the results. Nicolas Chorier, a French kite photographer is in India to unveil his book, ‘ Kite’s Eye View: India between Earth and Sky’.
Aerial photography is prohibited in India and can only be done with permission from Government agencies. It is for this reason that there are hardly any substantial books on India from the air.
Nicolas Chorier achieves this feat by using the fascinating technique of kite photography (taking aerial pictures by using a kite to lift the camera). Unique and spectacular views of jewels such as Amber Fort, Mehrangarh Fort, Naguar Fort, Pushkar, Taj Mahal, Hampi and the beaches and backwaters of Kerala.
Chorier has been an exponent of kite photography for over fifteen years. He has shot extensively all over the world in places as diverse as India, Malaysia, Brazil, Laos and Uzbekistan. His work has come to be very valuable – for he has used the technique in the fields of agronomy research, archaeology, tourism, national heritage surveys, and wildlife documentaries. “Helicopters can’t fly so low. They can’t fly close to the city or at low altitudes. I get much more precise angles. Not only is it cheaper for them to commission me, but the fact is that only a kite could have done this,” he reveals.
Chorier is ecstatic over the kind of experiences he’s had. “Kites have this magic – it would make people gather around me with their wide smiles and magical eyes.
Chorier designs his own kites, and what’s more, it wouldn’t be wrong to call him a one-man army, since he manages a suitably challenging job single handedly, without any assistant.
“I have had some fantastic experiences. The adrenalin rush, the challenge, the exclusivity of these angles… Moreover, it is magical to fly a kite. I feel as though the kite is just an extension of me, and that the kiteline is my second optical nerve. You sort of make one with the kite when it is in air.”
From « Midday Mumbai », indian newspaper, in 2008

  • hTF1, 2011.
  • Arte Journal, 2010.
  • Radio France Herault in 2008.
  • France 3, 2007 and 2005.
  • NDTV Delhi, « Just books », 2007.
  • France-Info, France Inter, RFI, 2007.
  • France 3 National, 2004, 2005.

Never applied for any…
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