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Skydiving with camera equipment can be a very rewarding experience in that you are able to capture moments that are otherwise impossible to see from the ground. However, jumping with additional equipment takes additional training.
Unlike an AFF or Tandem Instructor, who needs to qualify and earn a rating to be hired by a reputable school, there is no "camera rating" within the sport. The USPA and other organizations have come up with some general ideas as to what qualifications a beginning camera-flyer should have, but most of these items are only recommendations and not a set training curriculum.
It is imperative that jumpers who are interested in taking up this specialized skill seek out professional assistance in order to progress in an environment that is well thought out and tailored to the students needs.
Even though cameras are getting smaller and lighter each year, flying with a camera is a serious decision and it requires additional effort and attention on each jump.Whether to capture breathtaking images to show off this amazing sport, film a first timer by working for a school, or to take part in competitions where the video footage is the link between performer and judge, there are basic skill sets that must be mastered.
There are many disciplines and pathways to choose from within skydiving, and they can all benefit from having a camera-flyer present and capturing the moment.
Prior to filming other skydivers, each new or additional piece of equipment should be jumped until the camera flyer is completely familiar with it and has adjusted any procedures accordingly.
Once a camera flyer has become completely familiar with the equipment and procedures of their chosen discipline, he or she will be able to experiment and perform creatively.
Once a camera flyer has gained more experience, AXIS offers more extensive training in the fields of:
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All course participants must have the following experience before attending:
Various sources. Compiled by Niklas Daniel.
By Niklas Daniel. Originally published by BluesSkiesMag.com, March/April 2016
By Niklas Daniel. Blog post on the process of building your perfect camera helmet.
By Niklas Daniel. Photos and illustrations by Niklas Daniel.
By Niklas Daniel and Sara Curtis. Photos by Niklas Daniel.
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