How to Photograph a Record Breaking Free Fall Jump from 120,000 Feet
Later this year Felix Baumgartner will set a sky diving record by jumping from over 22 miles above the earth—15 cameras will take the plunge with him
For most of us risk-adverse land dwellers, the mind boggles at the idea of a man jumping from “the edge of space”—120,000 feet, or 22.7 miles above the earth. But that’s what daredevil Felix Baumgartner plans to do later this month, but he won’t be jumping alone, 15 cameras will take the plunge with him.
The extreme altitude and low temperatures (as low as -60 degrees) mean that the still and video cameras 4K digital cinema cameras require custom-made pressurized and temperature-controlled housings to keep them in perfect operating condition in the stratosphere in order to broadcast the a live feed of images to earth. The collection of gear making the jump with Baumgartner was call “basically a flying television studio,” by the engineers who created it, testing the cameras in pressure chambers to make sure they will function for the jump.
The set-up is a far cry from the last record-setting jump from 103,000 feet in 1960 when hot water bottles were taped to the sides of cameras so they didn’t freeze. It’s also a little different than the Nikon DSLRs that are currently up in space.
Check out the video below for more on the camera set up for the 22-mile high jump.