Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Cameras in the Antarctica

Interesting article about how cameras hold up in the Antarctic. One funny point is that buying the most expensive gear is no guarantee. Amongst 50 photographers, several had camera failures with Canon 1Ds, and several with Leica M8, both of which cost many thousands of dollars just for the camera body.

I also find it ironic that the author, Michael Reichman, has earlier in an article adviced us to not fear shooting in the rain, even with cameras which don't have special all-weather seals. But most of the camera failures described in this article happened during shooting in the rain in the Falklands. And several with cameras which do have all-weather seals, like the Canon 1Ds. (I'm frankly a little surprised about this, for this camera is used all the time by press and sports photographers shooting in all kinds of weather.) I am reinforced in my decision to not shoot in the rain without packing the camera in a plastic bag.


Anonymous said...

what's the average temp there? and i wonder why anyone would want to go to the bottom of the world.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

It's well below freezing, even in the "summer".

I guess they go there for an adventure which is unlike any other.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Brian May asks a good question: Why haven't they left/installed a camera on the moon so we could take pictures of the earth. Especially during Lunar Eclipse.

Somewhat cold in there, too, but with today's technology this should be a piece of cake.

If you can't wait, here is what it supposedly would look like.

Anonymous said...

Why haven't they left/installed a camera on the moon so we could take pictures of the earth. Especially during Lunar Eclipse.

Hey TTL or Eolake,
I have a serious question I need answered. Whenever the space shuttle astronauts take pictures why can't we see any stars in the background anywhere?
Also when they landed on the moon and snapped pics of the earth, where in creation is the stars at? This has always troubled me because at night I see the stars but when they snap photos in space it's all black.
Please explain? This is something I've never understood?

Anonymous said...

Well, Gary, first you have to remember that many photo-realistic images are man-made. An artist's view may not always represent the accurate reality, as illustrated by Dr. Brian May's page and comments.

Also, there are some probable reasons why you may not see the stars on genuine Earth photos taken from the Moon. Small resolution of the photo (a star is only a faint luminous point, after all). Too small, they're invisible. Or insufficient exposition time, making these points undistinguishable. And finally, the daylight sky phenomenon. During daytime, the sky is still just as full of stars, but we can't hope to see them because of the brightness of the sunlight, creating an excessive contrast. The lit Earth is by far less bright than the Sun, but it's much larger and brighter than the full Moon. There too, increased contrast might make it hard to see the stars, especially on a film photo, compared to the nightscape we're used to see from Earth.

Typically, nowadays, the superb star-laden photographs you get to see are digitally enhanced. Meaning that, say, 100 photos are taken from the same region, a few stars are taken as reference points to superimpose all the pics perfectly, and then a computer program ADDS UP the brightness levels in each picture, resulting in many very dim stars becoming clearly visible.

I hope this helped. :-)

Anonymous said...

Even though we don't have a camera on the moon, we do have satellites orbiting this thing. Same perspective, only closer.

Very much closer, it turns out.

Philipp Lenssen demonstrates how to use Google maps to zoom to a single camel in the desert.

Rumor has it that if you zoom near certain house in Lancashire, U.K, there's a guy pointing his telephoto lens towards the satellite. Or clouds, maybe.

Anonymous said...

What bout my animal rights to privacy, huh? Bugger off, you capitalist paparazzi!

Anonymous said...

This view angle and feeling reminds me of the old 8-bit videogames, like Gauntlet and Metal Gear Solid. :-)