Antarctica Photo advice

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by realcoldboy, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. realcoldboy

    realcoldboy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kia Ora I am a professional driller and amatuer Phhotograher looking for advice on taking photo's in Antarctica. I am off there to work on a climate research based drilling program and want to get the most out of this in regards to my photography.
    I have never taken photos in a snow enviroment, or in a very cold enviroment before.
    Any advice on exposure, equipment, batteries, film type, other specific web links and anything really that any experienced people out there think I need to know would be greatly appreciated.

    regards realcoldboy
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    You need to check with the manufacturers of your equipment.
    Antarctica gets very cold. Camera lubricants can freeze and jam the works, batteries can stop working. LCD's can stop working. Film can become brittle. Lots of problems.
    There are work-arounds and solutions to all of these things and the equipment manufacturers are the best people to advise you.
    For example, Leica has special low-temp lubricants and they will 'prepare' your camera for you.
    As always, though, Kodak has a tech sheet on it:

    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/c9/c9.jhtml
     
  3. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    4,152
    Likes Received:
    58
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Will you be using film or digital?

    If you're going to be using digital, I would be very tentative at first, and keep a watch on the exposure values the camera is giving you and compare this with the final results. You may find you need to under expose to bring some detail back into all of that whiteness. But I'm honestly not sure, having never done that myself either.

    Good luck and have fun down there!
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Cold and dry can increase the build up of static electricity as the film moves through the camera, and the sparks can fog the film.

    You may want some sort of viewfinder modification so you don't have to put the camera right up to your face. You don't want the camera stuck to your face like a kid's tongue licking a frozen pole.
     
  5. realcoldboy

    realcoldboy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cheers everyone for the advice, I am going to be using a Nikon F5. Which type of film is my biggest issue at the moment. The advice I have recieved so far has been split 50/50 negative vs. Slide. I am thinking of taking both. The same with exposure's, any truth to the theory that in a near 100% snow / white enviroment the auto exposure will see the snow as grey and under expose? Or has someone been telling me mincey pies? I will be on manual exposure 90% of the time, but for snapshots while working it would be handy to know how the camera will interpret light.
    Thanks for the link Hertz
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That is true. Your meter gives you the recommeded exposure to make your subject middle grey whatever the subject is. You could meter off the snow, and add a few stops of exposure, but I wouldn't. Bright subjects can be very tricky to meter from.

    For neg film I would meter off something black (in the same lighting as your scene), and underexpose by 2 stops from what the meter recommends. You'll want to bracket with slide film.

    Another trick is to compare something to a grey card. For instance I know that my palm is 1 stop brighter than middle grey, so I meter off my palm, and overexpose 1 stop. It's probably too cold to be running around with your gloves off, so you might want to compare the grey card to the back of your gloves, your camera bag, your pants, etc..., something that you'll have on you.
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    16,728
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Where am I now?
    Being in Antarctica will mean that you may well have to deal with increased UV - partly because of the snow and partly because of the hole in the Ozone Layer.
    You will need to get a good quality UV filter to cope with this - if you don't already have one.
    There is also an aurora at the South pole like the Borealis around the North. If you are there during the 'night' you might get a chance to shoot it.
    http://www.exploratorium.edu/learning_studio/auroras/
    Nice site by someone who photographs the Aurora Borealis a lot with some helpful advice on film and such:
    http://www.ptialaska.net/~hutch/aurora.html



    Information on the Ozone hole here at the Cambridge University site:
    http://www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/tour/index.html
     
  8. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cleveland Hts., Ohio
    Try Googling "Antarctica" and "forum" -- there is a forum devoted to people who work in Antarctica, and I believe the question of photography in a brutally cold climate is discussed there in a couple of places. I'd include the link but I didn't bookmark it; got from a NYT article a couple of months ago. Should be easy to find, though.
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Practice pushing those little buttons while wearing your gloves.

    How hard is it to reload film when out on a glacier? You might want to think about digital.

    Is there more cosmic radiation at the poles? Will it fog high speed film?

    I'm being silly, but having hardly ever even left the midwest USA I'm imagining what it would be like photographing in an exotic locale like Antarctica. ;)

    Some batteries don't work when really cold.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

antarctica photo forum