Low Pressure Change (video)

Winter days are ahead, those Low Pressure days with low hanging clouds and misty rain and snow. Yet to come is that wonderful Change to sun and green when spring days arrive…

(Best enjoyed with good speaker/headphones)

Music credits: Clubroot – Low Pressure Zone

Base jumping Smellveggen to lower ladder

Smellveggen to Lower Ladder – uncut

Here’s a little flashback to last summer in Norway. Just wanted to share the feeling of base jumping off the edge, flying from Smellveggen exit to landing at the Lower Ladder landing area. So the video and sound is uncut from my gopro, to share my point of view. At the exit I was trying to convince my friend Martin, who jumped with me, to land in the water just for the fun of it – but he did not seem very hooked on this particular idea.

Base jumping smellveggen to water landing

I wish this little red boat would have driven the opposite way…would have been fun to try and land on it with my Atair Troll DW base jumping canopy

The year before I actually decided myself to test out the Lysefjord water temperature.Take a look at these screen grabs from the video – sorry about the poor quality, but I decided to leave my Canon 5D behind on this jump.

Base jumping smellveggen to water landing

The Atair Troll DW 265 going in the Lysefjord

If you want to see the waterlanding in the Lysefjord, it is the last part of this video from 2011:

That weightless moment - after stepping off the edge

Summer time in Norway 2012 – Base Jumping impressions at Kjerag

Spending a little time at Kjerag. A few days ago I brought my camera to the mountain to catch some of the action.


Free fall photography article preview image

Base Jumping Free Fall Photography – Part 1

Dear Reader, as you may have noticed, I have a passion for jumping off big vertical cliffs. Alongside that adventure I try to capture photographs of some of those moments I experience when I am flying. So I am trying to combine free falling with decent photography.

Free fall photography capturing the spirit of the moment

Following Team Friskus Base off the cliff

Every time I get a chance to bring my camera to the mountain I feel that I have the opportunity to learn something new about photography. Because every jump is so unique in it’s nature, there is a lot of considerations going through my mind, and it takes a good deal of preparation and forward thinking to get everything right, and most importantly –  to make every jump as safe as possible.

Every jump is unique because I might be jumping with people I haven’t jumped with before, or perhaps I am going to jump a cliff that I’m not 100 percent familiar with. Also weather changes in particular mean that any initial plan will sometimes need to be modified in order to work, or even be aborted. So I make individual assessments of each cliff and situation, in order to judge it a safe jump for shooting photographs or not.

Planning – and sticking to the plan

Free fall photography Patto Tracking Adrenalin Base LD2

Agreeing to the plan before the jump

Before I step off any edge I agree to a plan with the subject I am photographing. Here I am following Patto off exit 6 at Kjerag. Planning and agreeing to the jump, and sticking to that plan is key. I had seen Patto jump several times, some I knew exactly what to expect once we jumped. I knew that he always is slightly head high, and then quickly goes into a short dive to build speed for the “take off” of his track.

Base Jumper Free Fall photo session image by Hakan Nyberg

Following Patto with my camera – photo by Hakan Nyberg

So that made my task easy, just follow his exit flow, shoot the exit shots, then stay with him for a short while for a few more images and then slowing down my speed for a high opening. I also managed to capture the happy sunny handshake moment after the successful jump.

I was lucky that photographer Håkan Nyberg was at the mountain that day, and he was kind enough to share some of his images with me. Håkan is building his new web site at

Patto starting to fly after steep dive

Patto starting to fly after steep dive

Assessing light conditions

My biggest challenge so far has been to assess and predict the light conditions throughout the jump. So making my aperture and shutter speed choices become my primary tasks after planning the jump with the person/persons I am photographing.

Like at Kjerag in Norway my subjects are often exposed to strong sunlight at the top of the mountain. But as soon as we step off the edge and start falling we then slip into the shade of the cliff. On the day I did these images with Patto, it was quite lates in the afternoon, so light conditions were good all the way to the bottom.

Free fall photography Patto Tracking Adrenalin Base LD2

Patto posing for the camera after exit

Playing safe

However, camera settings, light conditions and watching for the right angles can become NOT VERY IMPORTANT. Well, on a base jump that is… My point is, once I am ready to make the last few steps towards the exit point, I don’t really care about the potentially fantastic images I could capture. My primary focus is on executing a safe and fun jump.

I like to think of every jump in different “safety-stages”:

  • Checking my base jumping rig and tracking suit (pins, bridle, pilot chute, cables, straps)
  • Putting on my rig and tracking suit – and re-checking leg/chest straps, zippers and pilot chute reach
  • Then checking helmet, and that camera is mounted safely
  • Agreeing to jump plan, checking light conditions
  • When ready to jump, I double check leg/chest straps, helmet chin cup is secured and pilot chite reach
  • Then I can walk to the edge and jump
  • MOST importantly: Having FUN!

Photography challenges

The forces involved with carrying a heavy camera and lens mounted to my helmet are significant when applied to the base jumping environment. In most cases you can pack your base parachute for a sweet opening,

Opening high can leave a bit of time to clear "problems" (none here though)

Opening high leavs a bit of time to clear “problems”

and you can position yourself for a smooth opening. But opening from a high speed track or dive can really put some serious strain to my body.

My solution so far has been to add an additional margin to leave time for potential issues that require “immediate problem solving attention”. Like line twists which may put additional strain on my neck. So opening high and slowing down my horizontal speed from the track works well for me.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article

In part 2 I will elaborate a bit more on these topics:

  • Difference between failure and succes
  • Not knowing what to expect
  • Not going according to plan
  • Equipment I am using
  • Future plans – why not fly a wingsuit?
Base jumper happy handshake at landing zone

Yeah – happy days base jumping Kjerag

For more base jumping, big wall and people photography – please have a look at my GALLERY (will be adding lot’s when time permits…)

Two base jumpers in black business suits Kjerag Norway

Quick Gallery test blog post – Base jumping images

Ok, so here is the demo of the prettyPhoto quick gallery functionality. Hopefully this will be more SEO and HUMAN friendly and actually use the TITLE, ALT and CAPTION tags on each and every image.I will try to use the same base jumping images I already have in the WordPress media library, but seems pretty odd to make an actual gallery with that functionality without uploading the images once again…

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