• Skydiving Photography with Jesper Grønnemark

    September 15, 2017

    Ever since his first skydive, f-stop Staff Pro Jesper Grønnemark had the idea of doing a photo shoot while in the air. This is how it went. Even though as he says, his first skydive was more than enough for him, this idea remained stuck in his mind. 

    The idea became a reality when Jesper teamed up with the guys from Flux Freefly, gave them a Profoto B1X, and jumped out of an airplane at 13,200 feet to take his photography to new heights.

    THE RUSH

    His heart is racing, adrenaline is gushing into his veins as the door of the airplane opens. 13.200 ft. (4 km) under him the ground stares back. This is it, one chance, one shot. His grip on the Sony A7R II tightens as they move out the side of the plane, 45 seconds of free fall awaits, 3, 2, 1…

    FLUX: Benjamiin Laudrup, Jacob Lundsgaard Madsen and Emil Landeværn Kristensen; Head of the project: Michael Boe Laigaard; Lights: Profoto; Camera equipment: Sony Nordic; Video: Kasper Sveistrup - Frame2film; Graphics: Niels Borup - Saftig; Article: Kira Andersen; Pilot: Fillip Højlund Aarhus skydive club Red Bull Denmark

    THE BOUNDARIES OF PHOTOGRAPHY WHEN SKYDIVING

    The eternal strive to push the boundaries of what people believe is possible in sports photography has put Jesper Grønnemark in a position he did not imagine himself in again. After his first skydiving experience, some years ago, it wasn´t an immediate love story. Now, here he is again on account of his own creative thinking. Why would he do it again you might ask. Well, the answer is, he needs to. In order to push those boundaries, he is more than willing to put himself in extreme situations.

    When trying to capture the emotions of a skydiving experience, safe is not part of the vocabulary.

    Jesper Gronnemark

    THE PLAN, AND THEN A CHANGE OF PLANS

    How do you make it happen then? In short, you need a man with a plan, and that man was Michael Boe Laigaard, head of the project in terms of finding the right people, and those people came in the form of the Danish national team in free fly - FLUX.

    They are the best when it comes to jumping out of planes and falling controlled through the air. The original plan was that they would all have their parachutes out, Jesper with the camera and Benjamiin with the Profoto B1X flash. It would have been easier to track the skydiver, or Mr. Bill as the “model” is called in skydiving, through the air. However, shortly before the jump, it was deemed too dangerous due to wind and the plan changed to free fall. This new challenge was going to put an even greater demand on Jesper's skills as a sports photographer since they only had one jump and now had to nail the shot in a fall going 200 km/h.

    Skydiver Benjamin from Flux at Sunset with a Profoto B1X Flash photographed by Jasper Gronnemark

    Benjamiin with the Profoto B1X flash

    THE FALL

    GO! As Jesper is falling through the air, he sees the skydiver approaching from above, he gets his camera in place and suddenly he is cool, calm, and collected. The workflow is such an integrated part of him, that even in a time like this, it overthrows the adrenaline rush. Furthermore, he only has one shot, so he better make it count! The skydiver is head down, shots are fired, and not long after it parachutes out and a touchdown. Fingers are crossed on all parts. How did it turn out?

    Skydiver Emil from FLUX in the air heads down at Sunset photographed by Jesper Gronnemark

    Emil approaches and gets into position for the desired skydiving photo

    I only have one Shot, One Jump..and that's it. Once I got my camera to my face while flying through the air at 200 km/h, I was focused. There was no sound, no sense of falling and I didn't feel @michaelboelaigaard on my back.
    My only mission was to get the shot!

    Jesper Grønnemark

    THE FINAL RESULT

    Once again Jesper proves that hard work and quite a bit of sacrifice pays off. A lot of planning went into this shoot and even so, they changed. However, it was for the best. Jesper got the image he originally envisioned! A man hanging in the air above the clouds, head down. It feels as if it would be safer if his head was up, but when trying to capture the emotions of a skydiving experience, safe is not part of the vocabulary.

    Skydiver Emil from FLUX heads down above the clouds at Sunset

    Skydiver Emil from FLUX heads down above the clouds at Sunset
    Shot with Sony a7r II | Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM | Profoto B1X | SHUTTER SPEED: 1/1600, APERTURE: 10.0, ISO: 640

    The Skydiving Team

    Three Skydivers from FLUX with an Airplane in the background, f-stop Ambassador Jesper Gronnemark

    The Skydiving Team from FLUX; From Left to right: Jacob, Benjamiin, Emil

    Benjamiin was the one holding the Profoto B1X at the free fall at Jesper's skydiving shoot. It isn’t normal to skydive with anything in your hands, but Benjamiin is an experienced guy, who already tried skydiving with fishing nets, fruits, and other crazy stuff

    Portrait of skydiver Jacob from FLUX infant of skydiving plain

    Jacob's role is to film Emil and Benjamiin from a close distance using a helmet-mounted camera while they perform. He usually does that by being flat in the air with his back facing the ground. He was also the one filming me from the air for the behind-the-scenes video for my skydiving shoot.

    Portrait of Skydiver Emil from FLUX in the Door of the Airplane

    Emil was the athlete in front of the lens at Jesper's skydiving shoot. Emil recommended shooting him while he is doing a trick easily described as a front layout from the belly - a reversed Jesus rising to heaven. Jesper loved the idea because it starts a lot of thoughts at the one looking at the image when a guy is flying head first towards the ground.

    EXPLORE THE f-stop GEAR JESPER GRONNEMARK IS USING:

    Portrait of Jesper Gronnemark with the Tilopa 50L DuraDiamond® Cypress opening bag panel of camera pack

    Jesper Grønnemark

    http://www.gronne.dk

    Jesper Grønnemark is renowned for his innovative approach to adventure and action sports photography, redefining the genre's conventional boundaries. See more of Jesper's work!



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