Photography tips

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    Howdy all…

    Like many people (it seems) I am an amateur photographer and I’m looking forward to the chance to photograph this interesting new environment. I am aware of the basic issues regarding reduced battery life, condensation issues, etc.

    I’d like some advice on lens filters, particularly in a protective sense given the windy/gritty conditions around McM. My initial thought has been just about a clear/UV filter for protection, but I’d like to know whether people believe a circular polarizer is a necessity (or at least handy) to have down there given the amount of reflected light.

    Any general advice would be welcome…


    I keep a UV filter on the camera. There’s always something flying around in the air, grit or ice, and I’ve dropped my DSLR a couple of times (saved by the filter!).

    If you have a polarizer, take it, but I didn’t use mine as often as I thought I would. It darkens down the sky and takes some of the glare off the ice, which can be nice, but the increase in contrast often causes problems with exposure. I found I only used it for rocky landscapes or on cloudy days. YMMV



    Bring lots of batteries. The cameras usually survive the cold ok, but the batteries drain fast. Best to have more recharged ones ready to go. A trick is to keep them in an inside pocket and warm until you need them. Condensation can be a real problem. If you go from the cold to a warm building, moisture will condense all over the inside of the camera and lenses. Bring some really big Ziplock bags and put the cameras in the closed ziplocks until they warm up to room temps. I shorted out a fuse on a camcorder once, so have firsthand knowledge of problems.


    Are “tough” cameras like the Olympus SW series worth bringing down. Does anybody have any experience with them down there.

    I’ve had them before in the marine environment and it worked fairly well. Just not sure about the Antarctic.


    Truth be said, if you protect the cameras from moisture and condensation, pretty much everything works great.


    WARNING! More Shameless Self-Promotion! :mrgreen:

    Skua77 said he was interviewed for a New York Times article. I go to read it and what do I see? One of my photos!

    A very wide-angle lens, spare battery pack, and tripod was essential for this. And a large heap of moxie.


    Here’s my tip – don’t go taking a bunch of photos in -40F weather around the pole, and then head straight in to the greenhouse with your brand new camera. Mine still works, but that was a frantic couple of minutes of wiping and drying.

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