Extreme Photography: When Digital Photography Goes All-Terrain
December 13, 2013
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Extreme photography means taking your equipment into the worst possible conditions and seeing how it performs. And some days it outperforms even your highest expectations.
The early pioneers of photography did just this without realizing that they were, in a sense, "field testing" their cameras. Many of those pioneers were actually surveyors on commission from the federal government. Their cameras were huge and the equipment they needed just as cumbersome. Using wagons to carry this equipment in some of the harshest conditions possible, their job was to create the maps that settlers and others needed to travel to and settle new places.
Those hardy pioneers paved the way for our modern cameras and their extreme photographers, like Craig Mod. Some of the current extreme photographers are using Hasselblad H3DII (large and expensive—$40K) or Seitz 6x17 digital (large, heavy and expensive—$42K) cameras to capture amazing photos. For the fit-in-your-pack variety, however, there are a few choices: the Cannon G12 and Nikon SLR (plus tripod and zoom lens) are recommended by Alpine slope guides, but Craig decided to try something different, and his results speak for themselves.
An Epic Journey
Craig Mod (@craigmod) has been creating epic journeys for epic photography for many years. He used a 16-day journey to the Himalayas to field test Panasonic's GF1 body and the 20mm f1.7 Lumix pancake lens. Like any experienced photographer, he was unsure of how this small camera and even smaller lens would hold up to the overwhelming demands of ascending the Himalayas. His results were incredible.
He highlights his journey to the base camp and beyond on his blog, where he explains in detail exactly what this field test of this particular camera and lens was like.
Base Camp by Moonlight
One of the highlights of Craig's experience was how easy this camera was to use even in the worst possible lighting. Granted, he had to carry a tripod on the trip, but the aperture settings (and placement of the buttons to change them) made the camera a priceless addition to the expedition.
Craig caught the moonlight hitting the majestic mountain range he was camping under at his base camp. This photograph alone would turn many shutterbugs into extreme photography dreamers.
Photo credit: Flickr