The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Ewan Burns

Exit Altitude 13.5K

There’s a certain apprehensive joy in reaching out of a plane at 13,500 ft. with your right foot to find the “camera step”. About the size of an Apple track pad and riveted onto the fuselage of a jump plane, it can’t be seen without putting your head outside, which completely throws you off balance. So you have to do a bit of feeling about. The wind speed is about 100 mph, and then there is the prop blast (the wind generated by the propeller), which is considerable. I’ve noticed that thinking only about my immediate goals is very useful during this procedure.

Above the camera step, vertically separated by four feet, is a simple handle, about the size you might find on a kitchen cabinet. With my left hand holding the door frame, my right hand on the kitchen cabinet handle and my right foot on the step, I cling and crouch on one leg in preparation for the skydivers to set themselves in the exit. It can take 10 to 15 seconds for everyone to put their heads and hands in just the right place, for when the count comes it had better be so.

The dive leader, whilst grasping a bar inside the plane above the exit, stands on one leg on the lip of the exit and starts the count with a whole body movement in the direction everyone will go in another second. Out (1), In (2), Out (go). The rest of the skydivers are crammed into every spare inch available both inside and outside the plane. I’ve even seen skydivers standing on the plane’s wheel, although I haven’t figured out the acrobatics required to gain that particularly exposed roost.

Skydivers jump solo, sometimes in small groups and sometimes in the hundreds (no kidding). You can Google search “Skydiving head down world record” and will find 164 of the world’s most able skydivers wobbling and weaving their way through the sky in order to find a specific designated “slot” in the prescribed geometric formation. If a skydiver is in the wrong place, the record attempt is not recognized or validated.

The count is given, and usually I like to leave a fraction of a second before the group so I can get on my back and look up at the chaotic beauty of humans who refuse to accept that falling from great heights is bad or a finale.

I’m not saying that I don’t feel apprehension at some level, but the interesting thing is that once I commit and put my energy into the doing, the fear stops and the doing envelopes me.

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.


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1 Comment

  1. wow…. these are fantastic – feel the flight in photos!

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