Here at Quadcopters.com we try and bring you a cross-section of articles that may be all drone based, but we are just as keen to show you results of what you can achieve through the use of a quadcopter or drone as opposed to articles which are purely about drones themselves. Here we have a cracking example of some stunning aerial footage taken from a DJI Phantom 3 Pro in a remarkable and relatively well known location in Norway.
Kjeragboliten is the name of a 5-cubic-meter bolder wedged in a crevasse high up on Kjerag Mountain in Forsand, Norway. For those keen on extreme sports and mountain climbing, this location has become iconic for one of the best places to have your photograph taken. It is very difficult to believe that one day the boulder isn’t finally going to slip and plummet hundreds of feet below, and perhaps that is the thrill of standing on it. However, this article is not about a lump of granite. Here we are more interested in what people do when they arrive at this location as it has also become one of the world’s premier locations for base jumping.
With the help of a DJI Phantom 3 Pro we are now treated to some amazing footage of a group of people who we can’t decide if they are extremely brave or totally barking mad. Up until recently there has been plenty of footage made available of people base jumping, but this has either been courtesy of a helmet cam or footage taken from a helicopter hovering at a safe distance. Both of these aspects other obvious limitations, both of which have now been negated thanks to a drone photography. With a 4K HD camera the quality of the footage is superb as we get treated to breathtaking panoramic views of this remarkable location, footage which gives you a much better impression of what it actually would feel like to be there.
As for what the base jumpers get up to, well that’s a completely different matter. But we still find it incredibly hard to imagine what must be going through somebody’s head to encourage them to jump off the top of an 800-foot cliff, never entirely certain that the parachute strapped to their back will open successfully. The sport of base jumping is notoriously dangerous, being littered with numerous tales of fatal accidents where jumpers have failed to create enough distance between them and the rock face before opening their parachute. If you are not very familiar with base jumping, one of the other principal dangers of the sport is the updraught where a sudden change of wind direction can see a funnel of air channeled upwards across the rock face, making it impossible for the base jumper to control their descent.
Apart from the fact we have chosen this video to provide you with a few heart-stopping moments as you watch an assortment of people putting their life in the hands of fate, we also chose it for you to compare against similar footage of base jumpers at the same location so that you can get a direct comparison of the real difference having a drone camera can make. In the second video, most of the time you watch people jumping off the edge of the cliff and then see no more which is frustrating in the extreme. The alternative footage that is offered has been taken from helmet cams and while it may give you a bird’s-eye view of their rapid descent, all you really learn from this footage is the first thing a base jumper does when they deploy their camera is look upwards to make sure the chute has opened properly!
From the first video you can see that even a drone with the ‘follow’ feature would struggle to keep up, though we figure a racing drone with a decent camera attached might be able to do a half-decent job. So, are you more a drone pilot who prefers to keep their feet firmly on the ground, or is this a sport that appeals to you? Why not let us know and leave a comment in the box below this article.