freefall photography browsing by category


Womens Star Crest Award in Byron

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

History was made on Saturday April 27, 2013 at Bay Area Skydiving in Byron.
After a very successful 4 way scrambles event, 8 ladies got together and went out to achieve their Womens Star Crest Award.

The Women’s Star Crest Award is issued to anyone who participated in a traditional, round star formation, composed of at least eight women skydivers –provided the formation was held for at least five seconds. For more information on this, please refer to the WSCR website

Completed WSCR formation

Completed WSCR formation

WSCR Ladies in Byron after their jump

The Byron ladies after their successful attempt to get their WSCR award

The ladies, in the order they got to the formation are:

Karen Woolem
Deborah Bingham
Krisanne Combs
Rachel Kanowsky
Amanda Lum-Simmons
Tina Dobleman
Lori Connor
Erin Bishop

The reason the order is important, is that is how their respective WSCR Award numbers will be issued.

Thanks again for having me on the jump ladies!

To the men that came along to try to get their WSCR award, better luck next time, since we ran out of altitude to allow the men to dock next. Men can obtain a WSCR award as well, as soon as they join the completed women’s formation (after 5 seconds)


3D skydiving coming soon

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

For the last year or so we have seen teaser videos of the Red Bull movie “Human Flight 3D”.

An impressive production if you think about it, since the camera flyers had to skydive with 2 35mm cinema cameras, which made for very interesting skydiving helmet configurations.

Here are two images from the movie that show the different setups look that were used for the movie.

Copyright Red Bull Airforce / Miles Daisher

Image courtesy of Red Bull Airforce

Neither one of these solutions are very affordable for smaller productions, but it looks like Sony has now come up with an answer for this!

Sony HDR-TD10 Full HD 3D camcorder

Sony HDR-TD10 Full HD 3D camcorder

This camera looks like a baby in comparison to the setups the Red Bull team was using:

weight: approx 740g with the provided NP-FV70 battery

dimensions : 2 1/4inch x 2 5/8 inch x 5 1/8 inch (74mm x 86.5mm x 148.5mm)


I can’t wait to get my hands on this beauty and test it out for skydiving. Not all cameras are fit for skydiving due to the different image stabilization systems used in them. The Sony HDR-TD10 is using the optical stabilization system, which has not always proven to be so good for skydiving. The only way to really find out, is to “throw it out of a plane”  so be on the lookout for test footage of this camera!

More information on the new camera: Sony HDR-TD10 on

More information on the Human Flight 3D movie, and to watch a trailer for it:

Blue skies and happy filming!

Night fever… Halloween style

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

I’m back at it, writing away on my blog after a short break, and I wanted to share some of my latest photos with all of you.

October 31st, a couple of hours before heading over to a Halloween party, my friend “EGO” Mike Rabe requested a jump with me, of course wearing the cameras, because he wanted to jump in his disco outfit.

Dressed complete with a full orange suit, baby blue ruffle shirt, big sun glasses and dress shoes he was ready to jump, so off we went and had some fun in the skies above Bay Area Skydiving.

Enjoy two of my favorites from that jump!

Copyright Iwan van der Schoor

Copyright Iwan van der Schoor

A favorite from the archives

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Browsing through my favorites gallery I ran into this picture and wanted to share this with all of you that are following my blog. Enjoy!

This was shot at the American Boogie in 2008 at Skydance Skydiving located in Davis, CA.

Robby Bigley, Chris De Bar, Jason Cahill, and Peter Galli on a freefly jump, carving around each other creating amazing smoke visuals in the sky.

Copyright Iwan van der Schoor

So… how do you take a picture in freefall? part 2

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

This article is a follow up on the previous article So.. how do you take a picture in freefall (part 1)

In the previous article I discussed how freefall photographers operate the shutter on their cameras, which is slightly different from how photographers do this on the ground.
This article focusses on probably the most important thing in photography:  composition and framing.

The typical way to take a photo with your camera is to look through the viewfinder on the camera or to look at the screen on the back of the camera (with most point and shoot cameras), but this is a bit tricky when you are not able to see through the viewfinder. This article focuses on just that: how do you frame / compose your photos, without using the viewfinder on the camera?

Normally looking through the viewfinder on your SLR you’d see something like this:

Where the circle is the center of the photo you are about to take.

In skydiving however, the camera is mounted away from your eye, and you use a “ringsight”.

Think of a ringsight as the sight on a rifle, like snipers / sharpshooters use. You don’t see through the barrel of the gun, but you look through the sight, which is lined up perfectly with the barrel and whatever is center in your sight, is center for the barrel of the gun.

Ringsights used in skydiving photography are very similar, the ringsight is mounted on the camera helmet in front of your eye, and the center of the ringsight lines up perfectly with the center of the frame on your camera.

The most popular ringsight used is built by Brent Finley:

Brent Finley's Concentric Ringsight

What it looks like to look through the ringsight

The ringsight, has a number of concentric rings in it, that allow you to frame the shots.

The middle of the ringsight lines up with the center of the frame of all the cameras mounted on the helmet, and that is how the shot is framed. The other rings around it are used to size the subject in the shot, and to match the shot seen through the ringsight with the size of the subject in the photo you are taking. For example a subject that covers beyond the outside of the ringsight, might be cut off in the actual photo you are taking. There typically is no “zoom” in skydiving photography, you get your zoom from flying closer, or further away from your subject.

The rings are used to judge your distance between you and your subject.

In the image below I made an attempt of illustrating the center of the shot determined by the smallest ring in the sight:

Illustration of ringsight mounted and aligned with cameras on a camerahelmet

A "full boat" setup with the Canon 40D, Sony HC-1 as video camera and a Ikonoskop A-Cam Super 16mm film camera

In the picture I put a red dot to illustrate the center of the ringsight, and how it lines up with the center of the frame in the other cameras that are mounted on the helmet.

Now with all the gear ready to go, all the cameras lined up perfectly with the ringsight, you are ready to go shoot some photos and / or video!

Disclaimer: USPA safety recommendations are that you have AT LEAST 200 skydives before attempting any kind of skydiving videography or photography. Just having the camera helmet setup perfectly does NOT allow you to go out and shoot photos. This blog is no means of education, it is just for informational purposes. If you are interested in starting out with freefall photography or video, please feel free to contact me for one on one coaching on this subject and for helmet reviews / recommendations.

For your entertainment, a shot of myself landing after “a hard day at work”:

Iwan landing his parachute after a camera jump

Photo by Lany Muller