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Chronicles from Concordia

Eoin’s photography tips at -80°C

23 Oct 2012, 13:28 UTC
Eoin’s photography tips at -80°C
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Eoin Macdonald-Nethercott, ESA sponsored medical doctor in Concordia in 2010-2011 shared advice on how to take photographs at -80 degrees. These are extracted from the “Concordia ESA Human Behaviour and Performance Training for Concordia Over-Winterers Participants’ Reference Handbook"
Eoin's cold camera. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA - E. Macdonald-Nethercott
Performance in the cold is variable. At minus 30, your camera will operate normally, but the batteries will cool down and only work for around two hours. Wind will not make much difference. Below minus 60, your batteries will last 45 minutes if the air is still, and perhaps only ten minutes in a wind of 10m/s. But at this temperature, the LCD on your camera will slow down and stop working in around 1 hour after you expose it to the cold, and wind will affect it the same way. . And the batteries start cooling from the minute you leave the station, not the point you start using the camera. Putting handwarmer sachets in the camera bag do help a little.
Below -50 degrees C, the part of the camera that fails most quickly in the cold are the manually operated wheels you have on your camera to adjust settings, such as ...

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