To take the portrait of Felix Baumgartner, Austrian skydiver, daredevil and BASE jumper. He is best known for jumping to Earth from a helium balloon from the stratosphere on 14 October 2012 and landing in New Mexico, United States as part of the Red Bull Stratos project. During the jump Felix Baumgartner plunged into the stratosphere from a space capsule lifted by a helium balloon reaching a record speed of 1,342 km an hour. His unprecedented jump set three new records: the first jump in history to break the speed of sound in free-fall, the highest occupied flight in a balloon, and the highest free-fall.
The portrait was taken at Basel World, the global trade show for watches organised each spring in the city of Basel, Switzerland, at the Messeplatz. This image was taken at a small event during the trade show hosted by Zenith who had been the watch brand that had helped sponsor Felix Baumgartner as during the his jump from the stratosphere he had worn a Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th which was found to be in perfect working condition upon arrival, after being subjected to massive differences in pressure, temperature, altitude and acceleration.
This portrait was taken at the end of the event as Felix Baumgartner; indeed there was some hesitancy from certain parties as to whether there was time, or not, for the image to be taken. Ultimately Felix said, ‘If you’d taken the portrait rather than ask about it, we would have finished by now. Go ahead and take it.’ And thus the matter was concluded.
If you do not ask, you do not get. If I had not asked or talked to Felix as he was leaving, I would not have had the opportunity to take the portrait.