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Thread: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

  1. #21

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Texas
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    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Quote Originally Posted by jwaddison View Post
    Well, #11 is dead on, I don't agree with 3 or 9.
    Most malaria drugs need to be started two weeks before arrival in the area, and continued for 4 weeks after. And they may not have the "best" drug, just the cheapest.
    A photographer who goes to Africa a lot told me she'd rather have malaria than suffer the side effects of the anti-malaria drugs...

  2. #22

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    May 2006
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    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Quote Originally Posted by William McEwen View Post
    A photographer who goes to Africa a lot told me she'd rather have malaria than suffer the side effects of the anti-malaria drugs...
    Larium is probably the most effective anti-malaria drug, but one in 6 to 10,000 people have serious side-effects with it. There are a couple of others with almost no side effects that are probably just as good. Your doctor should know if you are likely to have any side effects.

    Usually the cure for the malaria is massive doses of the same drug you should have taken as a prophylactic.

  3. #23
    Scott Davis
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    May 2002
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    Washington DC
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    1,706

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    If you want to take the digital camera for the purpose of shooting digital, by all means go for it, but don't take it as a meter/polaroid exposure checker. Most digital cameras do not have the same sensitivity/spectral response as film, so what you see is not going to be what you get if you mix media. If you need a meter, bring a real meter that you have already calibrated to your shooting process.

  4. #24

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    Dec 2001
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    Chapel Hill NC
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    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Insect repellent is probably the most important thing - especially on the darkcloth. Be careful not to trap mosquitoes etc. in the bellows when setting up the camera!

    Do not get products with the maximum amount of deet. It does not last long and breaks down. What you want is what the army uses: 3M SRL-12 Ultrathon Insect Repellent Cream. And before you leave spray down all your clothes with permethrin - see: http://www.amazon.com/3M-SRL-12-Ultr...3370065&sr=8-1 and read the reviews on the products. Both can be bought at REI. Also read on the REI site the recommendation in the review on permethrin of how to apply it to your clothes - it will last for 5-6 washes before needing to be reapplied.

    Mike

  5. #25

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    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    The 3M cream and the permethrin sound interesting and worth a try. I hadn't heard of these.
    Are you sure the high concentrations of DEET break down quickly? I bought half a dozen small plastic bottles of 90% (this may be a higher concentration than is now legal) a few years ago and am still using it. I haven't noticed that it's become any less effective.

  6. #26

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    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    If you read the comments/reviews at the sites I posted they all mention Deet breaking down by 6-8 hrs, regardless of the concentration, unless formulated in a suspension. So 90% Deet is no better than 40% Deet.

    Mike

  7. #27

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    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    I misunderstood your post. I thought you meant it didn't last long in the bottle. The 3M cream seems to last a long time on the skin and resist sweat, from the reviews I read.
    The 3M cream uses DEET as its active ingredient at about 35 %. The Centre for Disease Control in the US recommends an insect repellent with a concentration of 30 to 50 % DEET.
    I think I'm going to Guyana in the near future, and if I can find some (insect repellent ain't easy to find in Canada this time of year) I'll give it a try.

  8. #28

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    Mar 2002
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    St Paul Mn
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    80

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    I traveled on The Rio Solomois shooting for a fishing book about 10 years ago. I found the first larium dose entertaining and every following weekly dose increasingly nasty with wicked real dreams. I skipped my last dose when home cause I just couldnt bare it. I was jumped by chiggers one night when not wearing socks, my legs looked like hamburger from my knees to my toes for over a month after. wear socks! I crashed 2 Nikon N-90's due to humidity, but it was the rainy season. I found using a dry bag in the boat while shooting to work well for the hand held cameras, I would just fold it to avoid the quick on/off rain yet had quick access and didnt hold moisture in the bag. coca cola and fishing hooks were pretty universal commidity for barter. I really liked my spf 30 long sleeve shirt during the day, the sun is HOT! I like the 3M bug dope myself. Have a blast!

  9. #29

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    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    I agree with DEET for the dark cloth but otherwise I would not use it. Very easy to smudge it on your photo equipment and muck things up. Instead, invest is some Buzz Off type clothing - long sleeve fishing shirt (cool and ventilated), baseball hat, and bandana for neck. I spent a week in Quetico in a coud of mosquitos wearing a headnet while my Buzz Off clad friend was unemcumbered and unmolested.

    The terry cloth head bands and wrist bands are good ideas. Sweat will be an issue. Also agree with bugs in the bellows precautions. Don't change lenses unless you have to.

    Plastic bags and dry bags are good but if you leave gear in there very long you can have moisture problems inside the bags. A Pelican case is an ideal case for transporting gear and then use a pack when you get there.

    Under the dark cloth can be miserable with humidity. Might be a good time to try a cut up T-shirt that breathes better and can wipe the brow while you are at it.

    The light in a rainforest is very dim - you will be surprised how dim if you have not been there before. Think twice if you plan to take 300 sheets of Velvia. ASA 400 film will still be a challenge. Trying to focus a wide angle lens in the dim light, heat, humidity, sweat in the eyes, mosquitoes buzzing - you will remember the ones that turn out.

  10. #30

    Re: Large format in the Amazon Rainforest

    Hello

    Just thought I'd give an update to this thread. I spent two months in the Brazilian Amazon last year, about 6 weeks in a small town/village on the Rio Tapajos, and another two weeks in a small town near Santarem.

    I ended up shooting about 340 sheets of colour 4x5 with a Toyo field camera. Some interiors of some old buildings, but mostly exteriors and landscapes. There were no significant problems, though I wish I brought lighter gear. I kept everything in a Lowepro Dryzone 200, which did a great job of protecting my stuff from from wetness and humidity, which could be extreme at times. In fact, every night before sleeping I cleaned my equipment, loaded film and made sure everything was working, and then later the next day (usually at last light) when I reopened the bag to shoot, I could feel the cool, dry air that was trapped in the bag from the night before. In the backpack I kept a rotating amount of maybe 10 small disposable silica gel packs. They never felt really saturated, but it probably helped. It worked well in rain, leaky ceilings, and luckily there were no boat complications so it was never submerged, but I'm confident it would have been okay if it had gone overboard. Film was changed in a changing tent.

    Otherwise I didn't change too much from how I would shoot in North America, aside from sweating a lot more. Light was dim, even though I was in usually open spaces outdoors, but I just went with long exposures. Negotiating film at the airport was often difficult, but in the end I was able to get away with just visual examinations of my 8 boxes of 4x5 film at each connection, luckily. Having instructions printed on the film boxes in each language I was flying into/out of helped.

    Just thought I would post an update in case anyone comes here with a similar project.

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