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Thread: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    You can get anti-static pinkish ziplok bags from sources like U-line. But static is more an issue in Desert winter or windy March. Film holders and especially plastic darkslides should be treated in advance with anti-static spray. It lasts for years if done right. Metal cameras in static-prone conditions can be grounded if necessary. I'd just bring along a length of speaker wire with a small metal alligator clip on one end and an iron nail at the other end.

    I always keep holder in individual thin poly wastebasket liners if 8x10, or in a tight poly box if 4x5. Despite all the terrible weather I've been in over the past decades, I can recall only one instance when condensation formed on the film itself. But mainly camping outdoors, the backpack, film, and camera gear is constantly acclimated to the ambient temperature anyway. Hauling it out of a heated cabin, motel, or RV, and suddenly needing to shoot it, is likely to be a different story.

    Logistically, if you value the skin on your fingers, or even the fiber of woolen gloves, etc, you'll avoid metal tripods in extreme cold. CF or hardwood make a lot more sense. But when snow is present, there is simply no substitute for sheer bully mass, like a big wooden Ries, fitted with snow baskets on the feet if necessary in powder snow conditions. I really preferred snowshoes over skis to stomp down or compact snow into a suitable shooting platform, as well as to maneuver close up to rocks and so forth.

  2. #12

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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wasserman View Post
    You don't want to breathe on the groundglass, it'll fog right up. I've photographed in -20º F weather and it was great fun, the light can be wonderful.
    A divers snorkel works well for this. You breathe through it and the breath goes up and outside your dark cloth.

    Also, be careful with cloth that is Static prone. Polyester is one material that can give major problems this way. Dark cloth & clothing bot can cause problems if they are made from it. An "anti static spray" can be used on the outside of a camera case at times, if needed.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  3. #13

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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    A divers snorkel works well for this. You breathe through it and the breath goes up and outside your dark cloth.

    Also, be careful with cloth that is Static prone. Polyester is one material that can give major problems this way. Dark cloth & clothing bot can cause problems if they are made from it. An "anti static spray" can be used on the outside of a camera case at times, if needed.
    The diver's snorkel? Brilliantly crazy, but not something that I can't adapt. I have an Avalung system I use to use for back country skiing. I could simply use that without adding or adapting anything extra.
    https://www.rei.com/product/705146/b...ond-avalung-ii

  4. #14

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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    Great advice Drew Wiley....I do use a carbon tripod. Weight is an issue as I tend to go far and carry winter camping gear as well as the camera components.
    For stomping out a platform, I start with the skis, then my boots...I let the snow settle for about 10-15 minutes and it makes for a solid base. The nice thing with snow is that it's a great building material. I've built elevated areas for my pack (so I don't have to reach down to get gear), and trenches (or walls) so I can hunker out of the wind while I wait.

  5. #15
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    I've cut and used polyfoam piping insulation for my cold metal clad tripod. Cut a short piece just for the top section. Tape it close with duct tape.

  6. #16

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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    Quote Originally Posted by domaz View Post
    The greatest concern is probably getting condensation on your film holders. Keep them in a plastic bag and don't open them going from a hot cold to very cold air.
    that's the opposite of what you should do. going from hot to cold, you need to minimize the amount of warm, moist air trapped in your gear or the moisture will condense out as the trapped air cools down. when going from cold to hot, keep all your gear sealed away until it warms up or it'll cool the warm air touching it and cause condensation. some desiccant packs in your bags and cases to minimize moisture before going out in the cold couldn't hurt either.

  7. #17

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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    Quote Originally Posted by domaz View Post
    The greatest concern is probably getting condensation on your film holders. Keep them in a plastic bag and don't open them going from a hot cold to very cold air. Probably an even greater concern with LF is shutters, older ones tend to act completely differently in cold weather than do at room temperature. That is they start working very slowly or hanging up, it can be pretty frustrating so test any shutters by putting them in a plastic bag in the freezer for a bit and operating them through the bag.
    When keeping in a plastic bag, I’d use silica gel. But I would prefer winding them in the cotton of my dark cloth

  8. #18

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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    Quote Originally Posted by maltfalc View Post
    that's the opposite of what you should do. going from hot to cold, you need to minimize the amount of warm, moist air trapped in your gear or the moisture will condense out as the trapped air cools down. when going from cold to hot, keep all your gear sealed away until it warms up or it'll cool the warm air touching it and cause condensation. some desiccant packs in your bags and cases to minimize moisture before going out in the cold couldn't hurt either.
    Agree

  9. #19

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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudrunner View Post
    Ah yes...and being on the west side of the Rockies, there is ample moisture in the air.
    Coincidentally, there's a guy on the east side of the Rockies who has a thread going on the Photrio large format sub-forum about the same issue: Working in the Cold

    Being on the east side, and leaving aside chinooks*, he at least has an excuse for bemoaning winter cold. You have my sympathies if you're up around Fort St. John, but otherwise that "ample moisture in the air" is mostly rain, right?

    * Alberta name for a föehn wind.

  10. #20

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    Re: Film and winter temperature swings going on location

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    Coincidentally, there's a guy on the east side of the Rockies who has a thread going on the Photrio large format sub-forum about the same issue: Working in the Cold

    Being on the east side, and leaving aside chinooks*, he at least has an excuse for bemoaning winter cold. You have my sympathies if you're up around Fort St. John, but otherwise that "ample moisture in the air" is mostly rain, right?

    * Alberta name for a föehn wind.
    Ha, yes! Nice! I'll head over there for a read!
    Also...yes, most moisture is rain in the low elevations, but higher up, it's the white stuff and the cold. ...even the Coast Mountains (not the Vancouver area...but more inland and north) get -20c and moisture. Fairly dry/cold in the Selkirks, and Purcells, but the Kootenays have their moist/cold days In fact, there was one night(coming out of the bar...) it was so cold/moist (-30c?) when we put a loonie in the Kimberly cuckoo clock, and upon his exit from the top of the clock door, Happy Hans froze in his leiderhosen ...he kept yodelling for hours.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V812SqQZCFY

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