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Feb 1st

2008

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CategoryPosted in: Assignments, Awards & Accolades, GEAR, Travel

Mongolia In February

mongolia_prep_2

**There’s a subliminal message embedded in this photograph. See if you can find it.

I’ve had some questions about my preparation to shoot in Mongolia. It’s a winter shoot, outside, so it comes with challenges I don’t usually face while shooting in Africa, S. America or Asia. Temps right now in Ulaanbataar are running from highs of -15C to lows of -35C (that’s 5F to -31F) and for me – a wimpy west-coaster – that’s really cold.

I’m dealing with two issues, aside from the limited daylight hours. One is how I am going to manage the cold, the other is how my gear is going to manage.

Light.
We’ll have 5 hours of daylight and 2 hours of dusky light.
To extend the shooting day I carry a Canon 580EX, 430EX and a handful of pocketwizards, along with an off-shoe cable, and various gels, diffusers, etc to throw a little more light into huts and gers, etc. Long an opponent of strobes I am growing to appreciate their versatility. When you need them, you need them.

Cameras.
The Canon 5D is rated by Canon to operate to -40C, so the real issues
in the cold are battery life and moving from cold to warm, which causes
condensation. Spare batteries will go in an inside pocket and be kept
warm with HotShots if necessary. Cameras will be put into
medium-sized kitchen garbage bags, the air sucked out, and the top
twisted shut before going back into the vehicle. I’ve got a bag of
silica packets to deal with errant moisture in the plastic bag.

Action.
I don’t do cold. There are reasons I moved from the east to the west – several of them involve the climate. Here’s what I’m packing:

2 pairs North Face long underwear – bottoms
2 pairs North Face long underwear – tops
1 pair MEC fleece tights
2 pairs Filson Rainier Pants
3 pairs liner socks
2 pairs Wigwam -40 Socks
Patagonia Retro-X Jacket
Patagonia Down Jacket
Patagonia Primo Gloves
Assorted toques and balaclavas
Salomon B29 Boots
Hot shots – pocket warmers to keep spare batts warm.

My client has a great sense of humour, so I’m pretty sure she’s kidding about all this and when I get my passports back the visas won’t say China and Mongolia, they’ll say Botswana and Swaziland and the joke will be on me, and we’ll all laugh.

Jan 25th

2008

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CategoryPosted in: Thoughts & Theory

Tell Me A Story, II – New Lexar.com Article Posted

My latest article on creating a sense of Story/Narrative within the frame is now up over at Lexar.com – Link HERE. I will also post it in the article archives to the left under Additional Articles. As always, your thoughts, feedback, and dialogue is welcome. Thanks especially to Trevor Meier who helped me iron out […]

Jan 24th

2008

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CategoryPosted in: GEAR

Think Tank Photo: Digital Holster Review

A month ago I decided to try the same set-up Karl Grobl uses. See THIS POST for the low-down. The goal was this – a working set-up that allowed me to shoot with two pro-sized bodies, lens hoods in place, and no bag to have to set down and fiddle with everytime I got shooting. […]

Jan 23rd

2008

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CategoryPosted in: Images

Tunisia Pics Posted

For the eager ones, I’ve posted a gallery of selects from my Tunisia trip – there are more here than I will eventually post in my portfolio, but these are for the keeners. I do have a favour to ask of you however – if any of these particularily strike you as either excellent or […]

Jan 21st

2008

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CategoryPosted in: Travel

Tunisia: Coming Home

I’ll keep this relatively short and post something longer in the coming day or two. It’s my last day in Tunisia; I’m in Sfax in a cafe within the walls of the medina, having mint tea and the smoothest chicha in the country. It’s been a great trip but a tough one photographically – I’ll […]