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Russian Smokejumpers

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First Step’s a Doozy
Photograph by Mark Thiessen

In Russia’s dense boreal forest, often the only way for firefighters to reach fires is to parachute in from planes or rappel down from helicopters. Here photographer Mark Thiessen does the latter. “I shot this with a helmet-mounted camera made just for this shot,” he says. “I wanted to give the reader some sense of what it’s like to dangle from a rope 200 feet (60 meters) in the air.”

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon n70
Film Type: Fuji Provia 100
Lens: 14mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/250 @ f/4
Weather Conditions: Dark overcast
Time of Day: 6 p.m.
Lighting Techniques: Available light
Special Equipment: I used a helmet-mounted camera triggered by a switch in my mouth.

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