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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Antarctic Landscapes

Landscapes  in Antarctica has brought a whole new dimension to my amateur photography. Where once before one has to look for that shot, in Antarctica regardless of where you stand, there is a 360 degree panoramic view to be photographed. I use two cameras down here. My primary camera is a Canon 5D Mk11 DSLR, and the second is an Olympus Tough 8100 point and shoot. I have only brought two lenses with me to Antarctica. A Sigma 20 - 40mm wide angle and a 150 - 500mm zoom for the wild life. I'm not very experienced at wild life photography so I'm getting some experience whilst I'm here.

Penguins luckily are very easy to photograph and in fact very inquisitive about the goings on of humans. Most birds however are usually in full flight and getting a bird in focus in difficult. I have found the 500mm Sigma lense a little slow in the auto focus dept. This is usually not a problem except when it comes to focusing on a snow petral which is a fast turning bird. Manual focusing on a particular spot and using the waiting game, wait for a bird to fly into the view finder is the go. However, like most times when your on a working mission, time is critical, and one hasn't the time to just hang around. So, I've just turned on the continuous shoot mode and hoped to get one out of 500 frames that would be passable. For some, not all further landscape shots go to the link below. For a penguin shots the link below that. I have yet to suffer from what they call shutter stick or icing of camera parts. Touch wood. The need for more batteries is a must in this climate as the cold sucks the life out of the batteries. My DSLR has a battery grip and so I've found the 2 batteries have enough life for a single days shoot. The live view or use of the auto focus does drain the batteries a little more, but not enough to worry me. Keeping the camera against the body as much as possible keeps the battries warm and last longer. Use of ordinary batteries is a waste of time and money. Lithium batteries only.

I've found the use of a monpod very useful for landscape shots and for penguins and seals, but hopeless for birds on the wing. Tripod obviously for time exposures and panoramics. Anyway, as an amateur photographer, costs and time dedication is limited and I have much to learn...!

See my short slideshow on uTube A Few Icebergs
See also my online store at Rockin Horse Photgraphy

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