Emphasizing close-up action and breathtaking scenery, Darren Birkin’s BASE jumping photographs are a vicarious thrill. The Hertfordshire, England-based photographer has been photographing BASE jumping friends for about seven years, tagging along on trips with his climbing gear “so that I can safely hang off cliffs, wind turbines, stadiums or suchlike” to take pictures, he says. BASE jumpers launch from fixed surfaces, free falling, and use a parachute to finally break the fall. (Although Birkin is an experienced skydiver, he doesn’t BASE jump).
“When shooting BASE I try to get a sense of the action but also of the environment,” he explains. “I found that shooting with wide angle lenses often gives a distorted view and inaccurate perspective that doesn’t really do justice to the environment. To counter this I often use longer focal lengths to create multi-shot, panoramic images.” He then stitches the images together using Photoshop or Autodesk Stitcher Pro. “This technique can give a much better representation of the environment and also allows me to capture a field of view and perspective that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.” More of Birkin’s images are posted on his web site.