I started skydiving -85 and since then I've logged around 4000 jumps, at least half of them carrying some sort of camera equipment with me. I started skysurfing in -91 (once I saw Patrick de Gayardon on "Travelling II", of course) and I've some 1700 skysurfs. I scored sixth (advanced) in World Championships -95, with Niilo Ahola as a camera flyer.
My home DZ is Skydive Karjala, which is located just few kilometres of boarder of Russia, in my hometown, Imatra. A the moment I skydive mostly in Parachuting Club of Finland, in Helsinki, or in Hanko, which is the southernmost peninsula of Finland, offering a great aerial view and very fast Super Twin Otter.
I have a day-time job in a steel factory, doing electrical maintenance work there. I don't have too much other hobbies than skydiving and taking pictures as they take a major part of my time.
In -93, I got the idea of attaching the camera on the nose of the skyboard and since then I've been experimenting with different kind of camera mounts. I'm constantly seeking for new photographic ideas and developing technical solutions for to carrying out my ideas.
Photography is my passion and skydiving offers an ultimate environment to take photographs. For me, the sky is full of extreme visual potential and beauty, as well as it is a playground and definitely a place where you can get rid of burdens you may have on the ground.
One of my biggest goals have been to show the fun and joy of skydiving, as long as I've been taking photographs. I hate the public "dare-devil" image of skydiving. I have succeeded somewhat as I've won some Grand Prizes from international photo contests.
I take mostly self-portraits with my camera things since it's quite easy to deal with yourself, you don't have to transfer your visual idea into someone else's mind. I do take a lot of "ordinary" skydiving pics too, but the emphasis is on self-portraits.
I normally use fisheye lenses and different kind of poles and bars made of stainless steel or aluminium, which I always make myself since nobody understands my weird thoughts. I use Canon T90 bodies, EOS 5 and I'm starting in medium format as I just won the Mamiya 645.
Sometimes it takes a lot of experimenting and patience (and pain) to get things working properly, and a lot of practise jumps to get familiar with all the mechanics you carry and how they affect to you when you are freefalling or when under the canopy and upon landing. Some years ago I made few test jumps with normal mountain bike (from C 206!) and once I found out how to deal with it, it was relatively easy to flare and land with the bicycle, cut away the main and continue riding the bike. The only item (this far) that I've ever dropped unintentionally was a ukulele I jumped with (and a camera and the board and a lei) in Hawaii... it may be still in some banana-tree.