It was a very busy summer for us in Switzerland, covering topics such as politics, sport, business and even the weather. After shooting all these events, my colleague Pascal Lauener and I finally found time to cover base jumping in the Swiss village of Lauterbrunnen. Fortunately, we met a local mountain guide who introduced us to a group of base jumpers called Team Ill Vision. On the first day, we had the chance to do an interview with the local priest who, over the past 18 years, has grown to know the valley and its residents.
We slept in the car during the night in Lauterbrunnen, as we planned to photograph the valley at dark through long exposures, showing the cliffs under the starry sky. Because we knew we would be photographing during most of the night and only sleeping a few hours, it wasn’t worth finding a hotel. After sleeping for a few hours, we rose early to go with Team Ill Vision and the mountain guide Martin Schuermann to the exit point, known as “Highnose”, from where base jumpers bail out into the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
We mounted cords to secure us in a climbing harness. And we had the mountain guide set up a remote camera on a cord about one meter under the jumpers for a different angle. These remotes allowed us to get pictures from three different angles of the same jump.
For another set of jumps, we hiked back to the valley and shot the jumps from below. In addition to the action shots, we recorded video interviews with the mountain guide Schuermann. Similarly, we interviewed Damien Dykman, a member of Team Ill Vision, to hear more about their reasons behind base jumping. Back in Bern, we went through all the pictures and videos and merged them together to create this multimedia piece.