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.
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.
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