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Archive 2011 · Dogsled experience??

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Dogsled experience??

Going one week dogsled in Sweden, above the arctic circle. Seeking tips-guidance from those who've done it, iditarod, etc...

Planning on MKIIn, and maybe just 24-70 2.8L, polarizer, 1.4x, three batteries, pouch inside the parka to keep batteries and camera warm with body heat. Beyond these basics, anymore tech tips,Shooting tips, etc., are appreciated

Dec 02, 2011 at 10:35 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Dogsled experience??

tip #1 wear glasses and something to cover your face, it's cold and you won't like the dog shit in your mouth ;-) I know what I am talking about Cleaning tissues are great to have, since water will be frozen within minutes if you are where I have been.

Be careful to not create frozen breath on the back your camera and keep batteries, and camera if possible, warm inside your coat.

Befere your start, do some test exposures in the white snow, I am sure you are aware of the fact that the bright snow easily causes underexposure.

When travelling in the dark try to stay in as low ISO as possible. There is no use of cranking up the ISO and create more noise but no light in the shadows. If there's no light, there is no light and the spots of bulbs or other lighting source that you carry with you is where the accent of attention should be. Expose for those spots, not for the dark.

Make close ups of the dogs, a portrait of your transport friends is one of the best memory to your trip.

Shooting while moving is nice with shutterspeeds at about 1/15s to accentuate the fact that you move. There will be motion blur, so shoot extra to get keepers.

Anyway, have fun during preparation and EOSfun during the trip!

Dec 02, 2011 at 11:09 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Dogsled experience??

Are you sure you wanna bring the 1.4x with you? Unmounting/remounting the lens without getting crud in the mirror box may be a challenge. And it will certainly be impossible while moving.

Dec 02, 2011 at 12:17 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Dogsled experience??

Try to find a pair of medium weight gloves or mitts that you can efficiently manipulate the camera equipment and then use overmitts with the addition of heat packs as a second and third layer. Once your hand or hands get cold they are very hard to warm back up.

As eosfun mentioned - don't breathe on the camera or lenses - sounds easy enough but a viewfinder will cloud up with one breath and very hard to clean with gloves on - you need to actually hold you breath at times when you have your face at the camera.

Have a great time!

Dec 02, 2011 at 01:00 PM

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Michael Ouelle

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Dogsled experience??

Previous tips are ok but I do not recommend to keep your camera inside your coat.
The camera will be affected by damp of your body. Keep the camera at the outside temperature and spare batteries in a hot place, near your body. Once the battery in the camera is affected by the cold temperature, swap it by a warm one.
When you will go back inside a house or a car, place your camera in your closed camera bag before entering in the damped and warm place and wait few hours until the camera return to a normal temperature.
Using this method, your camera will never be damped and we all know that it is the ennemy of any electronic.
Using overmitts is a good tip, this is what I do and I also wear mechanic gloves inside the overmitts. They are small, they have anti-skid patches on the fingers so I can keep them when I have to change the settings of my camera.

Edited on Dec 03, 2011 at 08:32 PM · View previous versions

Dec 02, 2011 at 01:32 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Dogsled experience??

Some more on camera care emphasizing what Michael pointed out:


Dec 02, 2011 at 01:50 PM

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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Dogsled experience??

My best tip is to use double pair of gloves so that you will never have to remove the inner pair no matter what you will be doing. Also try to have the second pair tight enough so that you could do the most basic settings on the camera wothout removing them.

My experience from shooting in freezing cold weather, the double glove thing is one of the most important things to have a pleasant experience.
I assume you will be well dressed otherwise, but this thing is easy to overlook.

Dec 03, 2011 at 02:11 PM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Dogsled experience??

I shot some images of sleddogs in Sweden last winter.
I used a Canon 5DII and MF Zeiss lenses, which was for sure not the best equipment for this kind of situation. You can find some images here:

Dogsleds can move very fast and the ride will often be bumpy. I tried to shot from a snowmobile following the dogsleds and also from an own dogsled. Both was very difficult. You always need one hand on the sled/snowmobile or you will quickly loose your balance. Therefore a light weight camera that you can easily hold with one hand is highly recommended. I think something like the Nex5/7 with a good AF lens (Zeiss 24mm) would probably the best choice for this trip.


Dec 03, 2011 at 03:23 PM

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