Seemed like a fabulous idea over a glass of wine in November 2007 after a particularly fun weekend of jumping out of aeroplanes! We had been skydiving for a number of years and had been learning a discipline called freestyle, a mixture between ballet and acrobatics in the sky.
We were both practicing Bikram Yoga at the time and thought it would be fun to incorporate the two together. We love jumping together and my husband wears a camera on his helmet so it seemed a no brainer, let’s do it. The intention was always just for fun with the end result of presenting our pictures to Jodie and the Brookvale Studio. We did not think this had been attempted before so the very next weekend, the journey began.
Bikram yoga poses on the mat can be hard enough.
Inexperience, gravity and up to 300kph freefall speeds throw a unique set of complications into the mix! Skydiving is all about control surfaces. Lots of surface means lots of control. Flying, (and filming!), on the belly or the back is easy. Head up or head down is a few notches up in difficulty. Curved and generally bendy shapes are a nightmare, the body spins in the air and almost always pushes the pose away from the camera. Awkward pose is awkward on the mat, launching out of tiny plane and trying to get the shot 14000 feet up is very awkward!
Freefall lasts around a minute and with the Canon taking pictures at 1:500 there should be plenty of opportunity to get the shots. Right? How wrong we were! 26 poses and 26 skydives? No chance!
It took 7 years, around 200 jumps and 5000 photos to put together the collage you see below. Some poses are less than perfect, some photos are also distant – as the years progressed we learnt more about how to do and shoot these poses.
Please enjoy, we certainly did 🙂
Jackie Trevor and Paul Ockenden
Devoted SkyDivers and Bikram Yogis