Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30

Thread: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

  1. #1

    Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Hello

    I will be spending June 2010 in the Brazilian Amazon shooting large format colour film. Any general advice? Any advice on non-obvious equipment or supplies to bring?

    My housing and food is being taken care of by some local residents. I'm not entirely sure of the living conditions but I don't believe there will be electricity or much access to it. I'll be about a 15 hour river boat trip to the nearest town. I've done research for transportation and vaccinations and all that.

    Some of the details, I can provide more if needed: I'll be taking a Toyo field camera, three lenses, 10 film holders, and probably 300 sheets of film. I may up that to 400 if budget/space permits. I have a Lowepro Dryzone 200. Any advice on transporting and storing film? I'd like to keep as much photo-related gear in the backpack which will be with me at most times (to avoid theft or nosy people opening up a box of film without me knowing). I'll have my other standard camera stuff with me of course (loop, meter, dark cloth, change bag, etc.), as well as a Canon G10 for exposure tests or snapshots.

    Mostly I'd like to know about film storage while in the field, especially in a humid climate like this one. I was thinking of buying a Pelican case to store film and holders, but I don't want another piece of luggage in addition to my backpack and dufflebag, and the backpack is waterproof anyways.

    If anyone has done similar work I'd love to hear from you, or if anyone has any kind of suggestions or resources to check out that'd be extremely appreciated.

    Thanks and happy holidays.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,480

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Don't forget a head sweat band. Don't put accessories on the forest floor (ants get everywhere in no time) - hanging them in a bag is better, if possible. Watch about where you put your head in the green vegetation (tree snakes, spiders) and your feet too (the same).

  3. #3

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Silica jel packs, if you don't have them, get tons of them. Keep them with your lenses (to avoid fungus), but ESPECIALLY around your film to keep it dry. I'd also recommend taking more film, having taken trips where I thought I had more than enough, sometimes it still gets ruined through stupidity/accidents. And zip-loc bags, double bagging everything you don't use on a regular basis (or just want to store) is a very good idea.

    Mike

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,480

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Lock&Lock plastic boxes are excellent against humidity for film and film holders. You can open them at home in a drier environment to get the wet air from the forest out.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    951

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    What about the rain, dripping foliage, insect/snake/frog squirts? You'll need some kind of rain cover.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    630

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Read this book: In Trouble Again by Redmond O'Hanlon. He's an explorer, not a photographer, but I think the book will help a lot. The book is extremely funny, and it will give you detailed information about day to day life trying to keep everything dry, outwitting ants, etc., and why before peeing you must wear an apparatus on your, ahem, well, you'll find out.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    5,225

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Satelite phone (can be hired). At least 4 people (1 preferably a doctor). Special insurance which will include helicopter rescue. Check life insurance covers. Flexible return flight booking. Light trap if insects are your thing (can be hired).

  8. #8
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Wash.
    Posts
    2,562

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Hi Scott,

    The Amazon’s rainy season is generally from November through April, so your visit in June brings you into the country as the sun reacquaints itself with the land.

    My principal adversary in the Olympic Rain Forest (Washington state) is contrast when the sun finally breaks through the clouds – an issue, of course, in any dry-season Rain Forest big enough to bewilder Hansel and Gretel, especially when you’re carrying transparency film. How you address it depends, of course, on your aims.

    And it’s why this helpful Thread naturally occurred to me since I had asked about difficult lighting under the broken canopy of the Rain Forest nearest me.

    All the suggestions – many about unique exposure methods – may very well apply to your Amazonian adventure.


  9. #9

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Thanks for your suggestions, keep them coming.

    I did consider the weather, and figured it would be best to avoid the rainy season. However, I do prefer even, overcast light when shooting outdoors but I know I can't make the trip until May 1st at the earliest, and June will allow me to be more prepared as I'll be wrapping up another project end of April. As well, the site I'll be primarily photographing will be an open area without canopy, though I do want to explore the surroundings as well. I'll be shooting on 160NC, so contrast won't be as huge a problem as if I were using transparency.

    I believe there was another thread on here discussing silica gel packs and the consensus was that they're not very useful, they become saturated too quickly. I wonder if the gel packs combined with the waterproof Lowepro bag will be just enough?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Eagle Bay, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    141

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Tobias View Post
    Silica jel packs, if you don't have them, get tons of them. Keep them with your lenses (to avoid fungus), but ESPECIALLY around your film to keep it dry. I'd also recommend taking more film, having taken trips where I thought I had more than enough, sometimes it still gets ruined through stupidity/accidents. And zip-loc bags, double bagging everything you don't use on a regular basis (or just want to store) is a very good idea.

    Mike
    I'll second all of that. I spent a lot of time in the Peruvian Amazon years ago, and even if it's not the rainy season, it's a hot and humid climate.
    Also, take some bug dope, with the highest concentration of DEET you can find. Although you won't need it much during the day, you will find it very useful at night, even to prevent being bitten while sleeping.
    Never ever go barefoot especially in the river. There are some nasty parasites. Don't go into the river at all if the water is not moving. Most of the bad things are in the still water.
    Not a lot of light reaches the ground under the canopy of a mature rain forest, so if you plan on going there I'd take some fast film (400).
    Pay a lot of attention to the locals regarding snakes, crocodiles and other nasty creatures. They can spot them long before you do. If they're not worried you shouldn't be.
    Try and learn some Portugese before you go, and take a small dictionary.
    Ask your doctor for a prescription of the strongest general purpose antibiotic he can prescribe (not some general tummy-ache antibiotic). The chances of needing it are slim, but it's worth it's weight in diamonds if you do and it's not available locally. Infections of any kind are not fun in that climate.
    Most of all, have a good time. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

Similar Threads

  1. What do you consider large format?
    By Michael Ray in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 27-Apr-2008, 20:39
  2. Large Format workshops in the Smokies - October
    By Danny Burk in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 31-Aug-2005, 21:13
  3. Large format lens
    By Ho Pei Jiun in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 6-Jan-2005, 08:44
  4. large format article discussion
    By john g in forum On Photography
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 26-Jan-2001, 13:30
  5. Diffraction and Lens Flare
    By Paul Mongillo in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-Mar-2000, 13:57

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •