Mike Harker, a world-famous hang glider performer CAMERA


Mike Harker, a world-famous hang glider performer, was assured by doctors that be would be a cripple for life after bis near-fatal fall from several hundred feet in 1977. But tbey underestimated his determination for he is now realizing a new career. This man with an iron will has become a photographer and is using his intimate knowledge of sports to advantage. An example is sports fashion photos. The problem is an old one. The clothes are always shown and photographed at the wrong time of the year: ski outfits, for instance, in the middle of summer, and the photographer is then supposed to make pictures that are full of snow action. What happens is that photos are made showing models in an unnatural situation like at the foot of a glacier. For the real sports enthusiast this kind of scene is revolting.

Mike, whose hobby in college was photography, is a former youth champion in California in water skung, moto-cross and surfing. He was also an accomplished skier. He says, "If one has never been active in sports but is called upon to photograph sports action that shows the clothes to advantage, he will not know what posture or position is correct. A skier who swishes through a slalom executes the same movements as a moto-cross driver. A water skier remains on the edge and bolds his or her balance the same way as a skier in deep snow. The same is true for surfing. The estimation of the edge of the waves and the balance of the body are the same."

Why then have false poses in front of relatively correct backgrounds like a glacier? Why not instead have the riglit movement at the wrong time of year in a similar sport? Mike's idea was enthusiastically received. Well-known sports clothes manufacturers, such as Bogner, Braun and Head, let him use their newest creations. Friends of his from the old days, many of whom had become national and even world champions in various sports, offered themselves as official models. Another friend, Tom Sanders, lent Mike an airplane for a couple of shots.

Only when Mike saw his achievements as a photographer were as convincing as his former athletic prowess did he permit the pictures to be published. His goal in the future: "Girls and sports, sexy, young and full of life."

 


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