This October 15, 2011 in Fayetteville, WV they had Bridge Day. They celebrate the massive bridge over the New River Gorge. They shut down 4 lanes of traffic, set up festival type booths for trinkets, food, drinks (non-alcoholic), popular and unpopular causes and let people walk on, look off, rappel off, and jump off the bridge.
The bridge is 876 ft. off the water and my photos were shot from various positions on the river. (I coordinated a white water trip down the river to coincide with the observing the last hour of activities.)
I calculate that I was about 1000' from the launch pad. I shot these with a Canon 7D and the 100-400 L zoom. Shot in RAW and slightly processed in Lightroom 3. The first photo was taken at 2:13:47 PM and the last one at 2:14:00. PM (Photos were at ISO 640 5.6 aperture preferred)
Most of this series are heavily cropped and the first capture is a from the edge of the frame. It's an interesting series. I'd like to figure out how to get exact capture times down to the tenth of a second. Anyone know how? Here goes...
This is the first capture, just after the young lady (so I hear) left the platform 876ft. above the water.
She's dropped a bit. You can see some watchers on the catwalk under the bridge.
She's dropped a bit more, head down.
Here she's flattened out and just deployed her pilot chute.
Everything is going fine. The pilot chute is almost fully extended but it hasn't opened yet.
Everything is fine. The pilot chute is inflating.
The pilot chute has opened the container and the main chute is beginning to deploy.
The main chute is inflating and the jumper is looking up to check it.
While it looks like the main chute has problems, it doesn't. It just takes a bit for it to fully inflate.
Surprise! A jumper from above crashes through the main chute. The top person in this photo is our young lady that is now mostly above her parachute and the interloper is in the bottom of the photo with his feet in a loop of the white chute. The bottom jumper is holding on to his risers that are attached to the inflating blue and silver parachute.
Whew! By the time my buffer has caught up and I've got the zoom pulled back, we see our two parachutists hanging by their inflated chutes. Notice that the white chute is significantly lower than the blue. She went into a second free fall until her chute refilled. They are both lucky that there were no entanglements.
Another shot showing the two dropping down now in normal drift.
After the jumpers finished for the day, we drifted on down river under the bridge.
In closing the Festival, two rappellers broght the flags down.