You may have already seen these, on flickr, where Hans says more than 120,000 people have viewed the pages so far. If you haven't, I hope you're not afraid of heights, or it may be too strong for the start of your day! Words and photographs by Hans van de Vorst, reposted here with the photographer's permission. —MJ
This is a case of photographer photographing photographer. The following photographs were taken by photographer Hans van de Vorst at the Grand Canyon, Arizona. The descriptions are his own. The identity of the photographer in the photos is unknown.
I was simply stunned seeing this guy standing on this solitary rock in the Grand Canyon. The canyon's depth is 900 meters here. The rock on the right is next to the canyon and safe.
Watching this guy on his thong sandals, with a camera and a tripod I asked myself 3 questions:
1. How did he climb that rock?
2. Why not taking that sunset picture on that rock to the right, which is perfectly safe?
3. How will he get back?
This is the point of no return.
After the sun set behind the canyon's horizon he packed his things (having only one hand available) and prepared himself for the jump. This took about 2 minutes. At that point he had the full attention of the crowd.
After that, he jumped on his thong sandals...The canyon's depth is 900 meters here.
Now you can see that the adjacent rock is higher so he tried to land lower, which is quite steep and tried to use his one hand to grab the rock.
We've come to the end of this story. Look carefully at the photographer. He has a camera, a tripod and also a plastic bag, all on his shoulder or in his left hand. Only his right hand is available to grab the rock and the weight of his stuff is a problem.
He lands low on his flip flops; both his right hand and right foot slips away. At that moment I take this shot.
He pushes his body against the rock. He waits for a few seconds, throws his stuff on the rock, climbs and walks away.
Hans van de Vorst's websites:
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON, with thanks to John B.
UPDATE: As with so much that appears to be impossibly dramatic, it turns out that Hans—I will assume good-naturedly (he did link the picture below to his Flickr site)—is not being completely honest with his description. True, the depth of the canyon is many hundreds of meters at that point; but the fact that is conveniently omitted is that these two rocks are connected only slightly below the bottom edge of these pictures, and the jumper is actually risking a fall of only a few feet—which accounts adequately for his casual attitude (although the jump would still terrify me!). You can read more at a website that is absolutely essential for web surfers, and that I probably should have checked before posting this—snopes.com. (You can click on the photo below to see it bigger. The photo is from snopes.com, and should be attributed to Baumer1781.) Thanks to Matthew Miller, Jeremy Kezer, and others for revealing all.