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The Globe and Mail

In photos: Zooming across forest canopies

Ontario entrepreneur sells his photo-taking system to zipline operators in Canada, the U.S.

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Long Point Eco-Adventures, in Ontario’s Norfolk County, signed up for the photo-taking service Fotaflo three years ago and has been using it ever since. Fotaflo founder and entrepreneur Ryan O’Grady, based in Delhi, Ont., has also sold systems in North Carolina, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Fotaflo sets it up and then shares revenue from pictures sold with its customer.


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One of the zipline businesses that uses Fotaflo’s system is ZipQuest near Fayetteville, N.C. As clients whiz down ziplines and cross suspension bridges, guides snap pictures with their cameras, which then send the digital images wirelessly to the company’s computer server for viewing later.


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Zipline tours often include rope bridges that carry participants through the tree canopy.


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“I’m crushing your head!” Tour guides, who take the pictures for Fotaflo, have some fun with a group of participants. Fotaflo founder Ryan O’Grady trains zipline staff and tour guides on how to get the best shots, where on the courses they should shoot and how to do it safely without holding up the group.


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Zipline customers can purchase photos of themselves on elevated platforms or zooming from tree to tree high above the forest floor.


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A zipliner prepares to head out at Chicopee Tube Park, near Kitchener, Ont.


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At Lake Geneva Canopy Tours, near Lake Geneva, Wis., general manager Mike Goril is happy even when clients don’t buy the Fotaflo pictures. His business still wins since it has thousands of photos it can upload onto its website. Clients then visit the site to see themselves or tell their friends to check it out.


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Fotaflo’s system is in use at ZipQuest near Fayetteville, N.C., which offers views of Carver’s Falls.


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The Harpers Ferry Canopy Tour in West Virginia, another Fotaflo customer, takes adventurers high above the ground along seven ziplines from 200 to almost 800 feet in length.


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