Extreme Aerial Fashion Shoot at Terminal Velocity

As smartphone cameras improve, manufacturers are going to great lengths to prove how effective these little devices are at capturing and uploading images quickly. Far from being a gimmick, the image quality from these smartphones has become good enough to produce professional looking photos and video for next to nothing. This production is a classic example of what can be achieved with a smartphone, a lot of skydiving talent, a big budget, and a little creativity. Check it out:

The brief was to create a fashion shoot during a skydive using HTC’s new smartphone for the final shot. ┬áThe team involved in the production created an entire location shoot during the drop, including a lighting team with head mounted lights, a skydiving model (Roberta Mancino) and even a make up artist, applying touch ups whilst hurtling to earth.

An immense amount of preplanning was involved in getting the shot, including a fashion designer to design a good looking costume capable of withstanding the high wind speed, a physicist to advise the fashion designer and a rigorous training schedule for Nick the student photographer, tasked with taking the image. This video shows the preparations and planning behind the final jump.

The final shoot brings together all the planning and training into just fifty seconds of exhilarating free-fall action. Nick, in tandem with an experienced skydiver has just moments to capture the perfect image and at the first attempt misses the shot. As Roberta flies through the set on the second attempt, there is just enough time for him to compose the image and get the shot:

skydiving fashion shoot

Fashion Shoot at Terminal Velocity

This short video shows how well choreographed actual photo shoot was. The whole crew was required to fly into place within a matter of seconds. The first shot opportunity was missed, a mid-air collision nearly occured, then the desired shot was captured on the second pass:

The three videos combine to make a compelling case for smartphone photography and videography. It is interesting to think that we are only at the beginning of this amazing technological journey.

PictureCorrect note – Indeed, it seems many photographers who need to get an image on the internet quickly are turning to smartphones to get it done. These days, when covering breaking news as a photojournalist, mere minutes can decide who gets “the photo” that is widely distributed. With most DSLR’s you are required to snap the photo, remove the card, find a computer, upload to computer, and then upload to the internet. I saw this image last night which many were discussing with curiosity, a photojournalist at the F18 crash last week with serious camera gear using a smartphone to capture an image as well. It will be interesting to see if DSLR manufacturers can create faster internet upload features to compete with smartphones.

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