Skydiving photography is a specialised field that only a few can master.
(Screenshot by CBSi)
Juan Mayer is one of those masters, who was a photographer before he took to the skies. It took him several years to integrate his photo skills with his love for skydiving. "It's more exciting, more challenging," he said. "It took me many years to start doing [skydive] photography, because it's not easy."
In conjunction with Nikon, Mayer has provided us a peek into the world of his craft. Mayer has two D5300 SLRs with 16mmm f/2.8 fisheye lenses strapped to his high-impact helmet, held on with a special top mount. To trigger the shutter, he uses a blow switch. This is a special hands-free device that lets you trigger the shutter using your breath. A small silicone tube acts as a button press, while a continuous puff will keep the camera shooting continuously.
Mayer skydives up to 15 times a day in order to get the perfect shot: primarily photos of other skydivers in action. Each dive offers a limited amount of time to capture exactly what he needs. He says he has around 1 to 1.5 minutes during the dive to take the shots. Unfortunately there aren't many more technical details available about Mayer's technique, so we've reached out to him and will update with extra information.
This is not the first manufacturer-driven skydiving video: late last year, Sony plugged its A7 camera with this choreographed campaign.