If you ask most photographers why they are photographers they often say because they love catching that moment in time, freezing an image that when viewed evokes emotion and causes a reaction, good or bad. Having someone see one of my photos and having them react to it is the biggest compliment I can get; it means I did my job as a photographer.
Inspiration is often the key to getting a great shot. I’m always pushing to take an image to the next level and my inspiration comes in all forms. I’ve seen many other photographer’s work in the skydiving industry and aspire to be on the same level one day. I’m still working on it, but I know with hard work I can get there. Some of those photographers have been at it for decades longer than I have and some of them only started a few years ago.
I’ve also been inspired over the years by sources outside of skydiving. One of those sources that has inspired several thousands of photographers around the world is National Geographic. The magazine has some of the most consistently amazing photos I’ve ever seen. As a kid I remember going to my grandparent’s house and flipping through one of their old Nat Geo’s from the loaded bookshelf and just being in awe of what the pages held. So I guess from a young age, Nat Geo helped spur my love of photography. But beyond just the love, it feeds the desire to create and capture images like those held in National Geographic.
It is because of this respect for that magazine that today I am truly honored and humbled. I’ve been shooting in freefall for well over a decade and today is the day that I have been fortunate enough to have one of my photographs find it’s way to the pages of National Geographic. The photograph will be featured in their Visions of Earth series that selects three photos each month for double page spreads in the magazine. My shot that was selected was from mid 2012 during the 138-Way Vertical World Record Skydive, near sunset, over Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, IL.
Not only am I honored to have my image in the magazine with the iconic yellow boarder, knowing it will be seen by thousands of people around the world, but I’m also humbled to be sharing the pages with so many great photographers that still inspire me to this day. I only hope that somewhere, someone sees my photo and finds the same inspiration from it that I have discovered so many times over the years.
With that, please seek out a copy of the March, 2014 issue of National Geographic and enjoy.
Christmas ideas? Calendar times 2!!!
It’s closing in on that time of year again where you have to figure out what to get that special someone who jumps out of planes all the time. Why not grab them a copy of the latest USPA 2014 Calendar! I was fortunate enough to have 2 months this year using photos I took from boogies across the USA. It’s the perfect thing for the office to day dream the day away!
The California State Vertical Record
Last weekend I flew out to California to film the California State Vertical Record at Skydive Perris. SoCal Converge (National and World Champs) were hosting the event and invited over a 100 of their closest friends to build a massive formation over the skies of Perris Valley. The first day of the event started off great with 100+ ways as the jumpers were flying their slots but only some were picking up their grips. Then the weather gods decided to not shine on us and Friday & Saturday were weathered out due to clouds. Living in Boston now, I only had the opportunity to get on the first jump of the day on Sunday. Unfortunately they didn’t get it and I was off to fly home along with several of the other jumpers. A few jumps later after many people left and the ax was swung, they narrowed it down to a 64-Way and secured new Cali State Record. Photographer Iwan van der Schoor was still on hand and captured this great shot. I just wish I could have been there to take the photo of it. That said, I did manage to get some great shots over the weekend. Here are a few for you to peak at, but as usual, if you’d like to see the ENTIRE GALLERY, click here.
Looking forward to next time. Thank you SoCal Converge for getting me out there.
Again, if you’d like to see the ENTIRE GALLERY, click here.
Love the Canucks
I really do love the Canadians! When I went up last year and took some shots of their Canadian Record, the CSPA (Canada’s version of the USPA) decided that they would use some of the record shots to dress up not only their new Membership Cards for 2013, but also some wind blades at the 2013 Canadian Nationals.
Well, that was exciting! I’ve been wanting to cover another Sequentials event with the California guys for years now and we finally made it happen. It all went down in Texas when they transported and rebranded the 8th BIGZ Sequentials 2013 to Houston! Over 40 amazing fliers converged on the DZ and danced away the days in the sky.
THANK YOU MX, Dona, the Mikes, Alana & Stephen for helping make it all happen and inviting me to be a part of it. So glad we can all get together and help do what Robby wanted us to do, push the limits in the sky and do what hasn’t been done before. Can’t wait til next time….
If you want to see ALLLLLL of the images, you can jump right in and see the ENTIRE GALLERY HERE.
Otherwise, here is a sneak peak:
And just a few more that I have to share. Robby’s selfie on my camera the last time I stayed at his house and then him sneaking up under canopy to say hello! Miss you Robby!
When I was on Team Mandrin, one of my teammates for 2 years was Mike Wittenburg. A few years ago Mike along with his wife and 2 kids moved over to Dubai and put skydiving as their main activity. Since the kids weren’t old enough to skydive, they were welcomed into the privately owned Wind Tunnel. As some of you might know, the Crown Prince of Dubai is a very active skydiver and very much responsible for the surge in skydiving activity over in the U.A.E. I was lucky enough to visit them in Dubai earlier this year and saw the kids flying, at the time they were Eight and Six. Mike put this video together for his now Nine year old daughter. Talented doesn’t even begin to describe it. It just goes to show what the no fear attitude of kids coupled with family support and hard training (and a little bit of ice cream) can accomplish.
Sit back, turn up the sound, make it full screen and enjoy what the kids are up to today. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they can do next year!
Chicagoland Skydiving Center CSC’s Annual Independence Boogie 2013 Revisited
It was my first time up to Rochelle, IL to visit Chicagoland Skydiving Center’s new dropzone. A few years ago they relocated from Hinkley, IL and built and entirely new facility. I have to say that I was blown away by how nice the place was. I guess if you already built a dropzone and had run a successful business for several years and then decided to relocated, you have the perfect opportunity to make things right and exactly how you want them and exactly how they should be. CSC’s vision for their new home was carried out in the execution of building that dream and turning it into a reality, they hit the nail on the head. If you have the opportunity to go for a jump and check out the next big thing in skydiving, I would highly suggest you book your tickets and make it to next year’s Annual 4th of July Independence Boogie at CSC!
To check out all of the pictures from the event click here.
The AFF Story
A little while back I went to Elsinore and shot 2 tunnel instructors who were taking the AFF Instructor’s course. One had about 200 jumps and the other had fewer than 50. It was an experiment to see if hundreds of hours of tunnel time could replace hundred of skydives. While I shot the two of the instructors teaching their students, the photos themselves tell the story.
Skydive Mag thought the same thing and create a photo tutorial of some of the shots from that session. Here is that story for you to take in.