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View Full Version : Other Techniques Northern Lights & Arctic Shoot - E3



mhweather
02-17-2008, 08:40 AM
I'm not a prolific poster but I'd like to post my results from a very testing arctic and Northern Lights shoot from which I've just returned. Summary here http://markhumpage.blogspot.com/2008/02/northern-lights-arctic-expedition.html

Using the E3 and Oly lenses it was the most testing environment I've ever put an Oly E system through. The camera had many hours use in freezing conditions (well below -20) and long exposures became the norm. My goal was to capture the Northern Lights (an overdue desire of mine). There is hell of amount of luck involved but we rode it well and pursued clear skies across almost the entire northern territories of Norway to achieve our goal. I have never known a camera system endure so much in an extreme environment and yet still produce the goods.

I was travelling with a fellow colleague and cameraman Al Chapman who video-doc'd the entire tripo. The Northern Lights vid can be seen here www.ingenioustv.com/clips/karasjok-nl.mov (http://www.ingenioustv.com/clips/karasjok-nl.mov) and the E3 docu-shoot should hopefully be up on the Oly dslr website soon after the final cut.

Feel free to fire any questions be they gear/exposure or logistics related.

Mark Humpage

Derek Wright
02-17-2008, 10:34 AM
The cameras you used were they specially checked out before you went or were they off a dealers shelf?

mhweather
02-17-2008, 10:39 AM
The cameras you used were they specially checked out before you went or were they off a dealers shelf?

No special checks or treatment. Straight from the shelf.

M

Derek Wright
02-17-2008, 11:13 AM
Thanks very reassuring - I hope you have warmed up now <g>

JohnMinnerath
02-17-2008, 02:01 PM
Was the temperature Celsius or Fahrenheit? Quite a difference.
I took many rolls of film in the Arctic with a specially prepared OM1 at -55 F. I wasn't easy to do. Broke a lot of film.

mhweather
02-17-2008, 02:16 PM
Was the temperature Celsius or Fahrenheit? Quite a difference.
I took many rolls of film in the Arctic with a specially prepared OM1 at -55 F. I wasn't easy to do. Broke a lot of film.

It was Celsius. Very dry too, which helped.

M

Will Sawtelle
02-17-2008, 02:45 PM
Cool shots. I'm glad to hear the E-3 did well. Get some hot chocolate and thaw out. You've done a wonderful job.

llpoolej
02-17-2008, 04:05 PM
Those are too cool and Wow!!!! I have always wanted to see the Northern lights!

heavy wind lover
02-18-2008, 08:49 AM
great story and love the photos,, could certainly understand why you made the trip and endured the exposure,, well worht it,,

Derry,,

Gipeto
02-18-2008, 10:44 AM
i've been to tromso this summer and that's really a wonderful place. Unfortunately i couldn't see the aurora: it was daytime all day long!

Tony Finnerty
02-18-2008, 11:28 AM
Those are superb images, Mark, and I am so envious of your expedition!

I'm curious that you saw only a slight reduction in battery life. Last week, while photographing a Mono Lake dawn at freezing temperatures much more moderate than yours, my batteries ran down quickly. If I was to do much of that kind of photography I would carry spares, kept warm in a pocket until needed.

mhweather
02-18-2008, 12:52 PM
Those are superb images, Mark, and I am so envious of your expedition!

I'm curious that you saw only a slight reduction in battery life. Last week, while photographing a Mono Lake dawn at freezing temperatures much more moderate than yours, my batteries ran down quickly. If I was to do much of that kind of photography I would carry spares, kept warm in a pocket until needed.

Thank you for the kind words Tony. I was also very surprised at the battery life. I was using the power pack and indeed kept all the fresh batteries in the warm before use. I even 'wrapped' the camera in a scarf and used chemical hand warmers to 'test' the batteries consumption in differing conditions. The 'wrapping' made almost no difference. I was very impressed indeed. There was a definite reduction in lifespan but certainly not enough to interfere with my shoot.

Also of note is that I used the E1 on one evening (at the same time as shooting with the E3) and not having a 2nd tripod (mistake) I laid it on the ground, on fresh snow. I used the snow to mould a tripod mound and fired away all evening. This also had the power pack. This pack lasted all evening (6 hr shoot).

M

Knight Palm
02-18-2008, 01:11 PM
Those are stunning Aurora Borealis pictures!

So the PS-BLM1 batteries did well, so you didn't need to go the PhotoLithium route, where 3x CR 123A in a LBH-1 actually provides more energy (11.7Wh) than in the original BLM-1 (10.8Wh). PhotoLithium has a specified operating temp range of -20C to +65C.

Derek Wright
02-19-2008, 02:27 AM
There is a picture of the same hut and device parked alongside it plus the light show in "The Times " of London today - was it one of yours - it looks very similar to image 3419.

No credit in the paper to the photographer

mhweather
02-19-2008, 04:02 AM
There is a picture of the same hut and device parked alongside it plus the light show in "The Times " of London today - was it one of yours - it looks very similar to image 3419.

No credit in the paper to the photographer

Yes it was. It made Image of the day in todays' Times and a few other nationals I believe.

M

Derek Wright
02-19-2008, 04:07 AM
Congratulations - I hope the fee paid for the trip <g>