Testing Camera Gear for New Land Expedition

For the past two months I have been training in the forests in and around Skien in Telemark, Norway. Part of being an expedition cameraman is being fit enough to actually do the trip – there are no free rides. I was watching Everest Beyond the Limits last night and was totally blown away how that crew managed to capture the expedition in 2006 – awe inspiring. I don’t like the overly dramatic approach to the series, but spare a thought for the cameramen who not only have to climb but also film.

So with a little perspective I have been testing camera gear for our New Land Expedition which departs to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic in a little over 1 month. While we won’t have to deal with altitude being at sea level much of the time we will have to deal with extreme cold. At the beginning of the trip we are expecting temperatures as low as -40 degrees (where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet) where unprotected skin will freeze in roughly 30 seconds. Physically being able to operate the cameras is one thing and that is why I have begun modifications that will allow me to use them with thick gloves on and still have enough manual control.

Photo on 2013-02-07 at 17.36

One of the benefits of being in Norway is that I can get the cameras relatively cold to see if they will function in subzero temperatures. Two weeks ago I managed to get out filming in around -22 degrees which gave some level of confidence that we have a system that will work.

To follow the expedition visit:



About kyleodonoghue

Environmental and Adventure Filmmaker
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2 Responses to Testing Camera Gear for New Land Expedition

  1. Allyson says:

    Kyle – I just discovered your blog and I LOVE IT! I currently work in live sports broadcasting but would like to break away and get into the documentary world. This is all so facsinating. Quick question, do you find that there is any prejudice against women in your profession? Whether it’s others thinking they are not strong enough, can’t handle it or they pose a threat in dangerous locations?

    • Dear Allyson

      Thanks you for your comments and my apologies for the delay in response. I have been on a three month shoot in the Arctic and slowly now getting back into things and will begin to post again.

      Its an interesting question you ask. I think that the cameraMAN world is still a bit macho in general but I would not say there is much prejudice within the community of shooters themselves, but perhaps from producers/directors who choose men over women for harder assignments. I however have filmed with a number of super tough and talented women shooters and would say that in general their numbers are on the rise. In particular I have worked with two very talented expedition photographers – Krystal Wright from Australia and Marriane Schwankhart from South Africa. What they both have in common is that they are proficient outdoor adventure people, which I guess is a prerequisite for this type of filming whether you are a man or woman. One thing that has helped is lighter cameras which can be handled easily regardless of brute strength.

      All the best in your endeavors to get into the doc world.

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