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Antarctica Shoot


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#1 Richard Boddington

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 08:50 PM

Greetings All,

I have returned, did you miss me?

Geez what a place! I'd like to move to Antarctica permanently, but my wife won't go because they don't have a Walmart. It really is incredible on the 7th continent.

Here's a pic of me with some Adele Penguins, there where "only" 250,000 at this colony, not counting the chicks. What a sight!

I'll post a link to the actual 35mm motion shots when I have them all transfered. Of course they may look like penguin crap, in which case, there will be no link :)

Here's a great DP story for you all. I was shooting some penguins with their chicks at the Argentine base using my 250mm lens so that I could fill the whole frame with the action. It was great footage, the mother was opening her mouth and the chick was reaching up to feed. Just like in "March Of The You Know What."

After shooting 200ft of film it suddenly dawned on me that the image through the viewfinder was quite bright, which seemed odd. I checked the lens and it was on f8, which was correct for the light with 5245, but when I looked into the lens I could see to my horror that the iris was wide open! The iris was no repsonding to the aperature dial!! All of the footage was going to be horribly over exposed.

I took the lens off and tried to get it to work, and it would not. Here's this great shot going down the toilet due to a lens failure. Well I gave up and set the lens on a rock, it rolled off of the rock with a "clunk." I picked up the lens and, MIRACLE, it was now working!

This was the first time in history that a rock fixed a lens.

So I re-mounted the lens and starting re-shooting, the chick was still feeding so I got all of the action over again this time with the iris closed down.

Phew! That was very lucky wouldn't you say?

R,

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 12:15 AM

Is that an Eclair CM3 you are using? What lenses were you using?

Your story reminds me of one I read in a bio of a studio era DP (don't remember which one, there were so many bios I read) who got his start shooting travelogues with this woman explorer in the silent era. They were up in the snowy mountains and he realized after shooting all day that his lens iris was frozen wide-open.

This was back in the day when DP's did their own developing, and since this was before panchromatic film, you could develop film by eye under a red safe light. So he developed the film to the point where he got the correct density and then stopped (i.e. he was pull-processing to compensate for overexposure). So he managed to save the footage.

Did you get the camera and lenses "winterized" (oil replaced by graphite, I believe, etc.)?

On the other hand, you were there in the "summer", right? How cold was it? Maybe you didn't need to winterize the gear.

I'm sure you must have gotten some amazing footage.
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#3 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 10:18 AM

Hey Richard,

It's good to have you back! Congrats on the amazing shoot!
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#4 David Silverstein

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 10:54 AM

Wow must have been a one and a life time expierence.

Question though what exactly where you shooting there a movie or a documentry?

David S.
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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 12:34 PM

Hi David,

Temps where always 2-5 celcius, quite comfortable most days. One day I worked with only my sweater and no gloves or hat. That camera is a modified Konvas 35mm, using new Arsat lenses. Not the best glass in the world, but not the worst either. Taking a $50,000.00 lens to a place like Antarctica is risky to say the least. I shot 5245 only. The Konvas is great because of it's small size and light weight. You can see I have it mounted on a tri-pod head bolted to a wooden base. This allowed me to get down to penguin height. I'm using short loads, again for size and weight. But hey I'll have Antarctica on a 35mm neg and that's the main thing. My Konvas has perfect registration so I'll just tell people I used a more expensive Arri :)

Every thing has to be small enough and light enough to get ashore via a zodiac so it's always an issue.

I think I got some very nice shots, we'll see next week. Here are some more stills you can look at. Basically it's a cinematographers or photographers paradise, you can't screw it up.

R,

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#6 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 12:51 PM

Oh here is some thing else I thought you all might be interested in since we are a forum of visual people.

Have a look at this shot, it's the bottom of an iceberg, notice the blue. I have not enhanced the shot in any way, this is the natural colour. Much of the ice at the south pole is either blue or green, it's quite amazing.

The geologist explained the reasons why to me, some thing to do with oxygen trapped in the ice, basically I forgot why. But it really is neat I've printed a few of these stills on 8X10 photo paper and they are worthy of a frame. Makes a nice screen saver as well if any one wants me to e-mail them the full res pic.

I took a lot of shots from the zodiac as we cruised in real close. Also shot three big seals on an ice flow via the zodiac on 35mm. The water was like glass, so I have a feeling the shots will be useable.

If you like wildlife Antarctica is one of the few places in the world where the animals don't run away from humans.

R,

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#7 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 05:34 AM

Richard,

That last picture is one of the most beautiful images I've seen in a long time. Congratulations and welcome back. Sounds like it was an amazing trip.

Jonathan
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#8 Greg Gross

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 08:39 AM

Sweet Jesus would I ever love to have an Arri 235 and an un-godly amount of film, to get in the middle
of that flock,you know like take the camera to the penguin action!! Richard,will the penguins come right
up to the lens?


Greg Gross
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#9 Richard Boddington

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 01:16 PM

The penguins will either walk right up to you, or just walk up to them, same effect either way.

I have enough penguin footage to sink a battleship. Getting close is not an issue.

The issue is penguins with bad manners who walk across the frame while you're shooting :)

R,
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#10 David Silverstein

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 03:28 PM

haha those damn penguins. sounds soo cool I feel like penquins are one of the most interesting out there.
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