Most people would find parachuting in itself challenging enough, but not James Wilkinson.
He is a skydiving videographer. He takes videos and photographs of skydiving teams and individuals, free falling with them as they fall from airplanes at nearly 200 (two hundred) kilometers per hour. It's like driving a racing car or motorbike at high speed, he says, while trying to take pictures of the scenery.
He has always been a very keen skydiver himself, and the photography began as a way of financing his hobby.
Parachuting is very expensive. Two years ago some skydiving friends needed a video of one of their jumps in order to study their mistakes. They asked him. His videos were successful, and he was invited to make more by other teams. He now photographs and videos all kinds of parachute jumps.
A recent craze, growing in popularity, is tandem jumping. In this kind of parachuting, the paying customer is strapped to an instructor and jumps out of an airplane with him from 3600 meters.Because he is with an instructor who knows exactly what he is doing and does all the work, the customer does not need weeks of training to accomplish his jump. This means that the jump can be made from a greater height than with conventional commercial parachute jumps, and these jumps involve real skydiving - falling through the air before opening the parachute. The instructors also use a square, steerable parachute that glides rather than falling to the ground, which adds to the excitement.
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