See how death-defying photo of a skier jumping a lighthouse was made

There’s a lot that goes into creating a good ski photograph: Preventing snow and moisture from building up on the lens, keeping yourself and your crew warm, and being aware of safety risks such as avalanches. One thing that’s rarely necessary, however, is a lighthouse. But for German photographer Christoph Jorda, a lighthouse made the perfect setting on a recent photo shoot for Saloman Freeski Team Germany.

The lighthouse in question is no ordinary one. Standing at the source of the Rhein some 6,700 feet up in the Swiss Alps, it is the highest lighthouse in the world (and the only one in the Alps, which doesn’t exactly have much real need for lighthouses). Even for Jorda, it was an unlikely location for the shoot, which was scheduled to take place elsewhere but had been shut down due to weather. Rather than wait out the storm inside, Jorda and his team decided to hop a train and go exploring. That’s when they found the lighthouse.

“We got off the train and walked over to it,” Jorda said in a Profoto blog post. “As soon as we got there, a crazy idea was born to jump onto the rail of the lighthouse and touch it with the tails of the skis.”

But actually accomplishing this would be no easy task. Plagued by continued bad weather and high winds, and surrounded by deep powder, the main concern was if it would even be possible for the skier to generate enough speed to reach the top of the lighthouse. The crew, six people in total, set about building a jump, a process that took them the entire day. But after careful planning and construction, they were confident it would work.

Jorda set up two Profoto B1 wireless monolights inside the top of the lighthouse, with a third placed behind it. The B1 is battery powered and triggered via a camera-mounted radio transmitter, an ideal light for the situation. With dark skies and low visibility, the B1s would have to make due as the primary source of light.

With everything set up, skier Sebastin Scheck headed up the slope, hiking about 20 minutes to make sure he had enough distance before the jump to generate sufficient speed.

“It was pretty clear that he would still be too slow because the strong wind had damaged the approach,” Jorda said. “So all the other riders went up and skied down to pack the snow and make the approach as fast as possible.”

After that, it all came down to timing. Jorda waited on the ground in front of the lighthouse and fired away as Scheck entered the frame. The B1s lit up the lighthouse like a beacon and made for a dramatic image, one that Jorda wouldn’t even have conceived of had bad weather not forced him out of the original location. As he writes in the description of the behind-the-scenes video, “Sometimes a disadvantage is a benefit.”

Photography

How iPhone photographers connect the world using only ‘basic’ gear

August 19 is World Photography Day, marking progress from the daguerreotype to the iPhone. But how do today's photographers create a connection to viewers using basic gear? We talked to iPhone photographers and influencers around the world…
Gaming

The N64 was an all-star console with a line-up of all-star games. These were the best.

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in August 2018, from ‘Her’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses - something no phone…
Photography

Color grading pushes Pinnacle Studio 22 toward more pro video editing features

Designed for videographers that aren't pros but aren't basic users either, Pinnacle Studio 22 expands its advanced tools with color grading and four-point editing. The updates bring more advanced tools to the platform.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Web

Adobe Spark Page makes web design easy — here’s how to use it

Using artificial intelligence and simple tools, Adobe Spark Page is designed for easy web page design. Here's how to use Adobe Spark Page to create a travel journal, event page or any other one-page website.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Photo FOMO: VSCO makes harsh sun look cool, Apple wants to make 360 look better

In this week's Photo FOMO, see how VSCO is trying to improve photos in harsh sunlight with new presets, how Apple thinks they can make 360 look better, and find out just how many photographers actually read licensing agreements.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

From white skies to blurry subjects, how to fix common photo mistakes

You snapped the photo at the perfect moment, but the image is blurry. Understanding the most common photography mistakes can help capture better memories and more likable Instagrams. Here's how to fix these seven common photography…
Photography

Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless is coming August 23 — here’s what we know so far

Nikon is keeping a tight lid on details surrounding its upcoming full-frame mirrorless camera, but we know it has a touchscreen, and the latest teaser is the most revealing. Here are all the teasers and analyst predictions.