Mladen Palada – a parachutist. Owner of many awards and medals and one of the icons of Prijedor sport, member of Prijedor Airclub. He is still active but doesn’t compete anymore. Many interesting stories he has to tell but there is one that can not leave you calm. Back in 1971 he had to perform his first jump after a theoretical part of his parachutist training. Airplane climb to altitude of 800 meters from where every training jump begins. They were performing a hook jump (where parachute is hooked to the airplane and opens instantly after jump). He jumped, and everything he felt was high speed but no absorbing shock when parachute opens. He saw that parachute was not opened right so he detached his main parachute and he opened his reserve. He had just 3 sec. to do that. And it was his FIRST jump. That was the time when death at first jump was common thing.
I was trying for few days to do this portrait but everything came up wrong. From weather to idea and scenario. First, weather was so bad that one could not go outside from a house. Then, I was building some ideas for this portrait and finally I overcomplicated it too much that realization became impossible and too expensive. So I decided to go with Mladen at Prijedor airfield and we will do some simple and clean portraits. When we get there, strong wind starts and instantly, I’ve got an idea to try to open a parachute against the wind. We were trying for several times, but it was impossible to get Mladen at the place I wanted him to be because, parachute was carrying him around airfield. So, I tried to run with him while I was holding my light stand in one hand and camera in other (and that is how picture on the top arise). Suddenly, wind stopped and parachute collapse over me.