Antarctic Film Festival

I’m getting really bad at updating this blog, I think that’s because everything is so normal now…It doesn’t ‘blow your mind’ to see icebergs, glaciers and other amazing things quite as much as it used to and therefore the amount of time spent on photography diminishes.

In saying that, last weekend was the greatest amount of time spent filming in one continuous session than any other since being here – It was of course the great Antarctic 48hr Film Festival of 2014…..What do you mean you’ve never heard of it? OK, so there are all sorts of different stations down here belonging to many different countries, we’re located all across the continent, we’re not exactly next door to each other..The tradition of the film festival is something I have no idea of the history of, it is quite simply a good reason to get the different stations talking and competing in a bit of fun – The rules are simple, you have 48hrs to make a film, about anything, it should last no more than five minutes and needs to include five ‘elements’ – The reason for the five elements is to prove that the film hadn’t been recorded over the past six months as they are only released on the Friday afternoon when everyone starts recording..

This year the five elements came from five different stations and they were:

  • Davis (Sound) – Squealing Pig (I chose that, impressed, go on, admit it?)
  • Kerguelen Island Island (Prop) – A swing (like a swing seat at playgrounds)
  • Dumont d’Urville Station (Prop) – A Swim Suit
  • Scott Base (Character) – Wal Footrot, he is an iconic Kiwi cartoon character and Google able
  • Bird Island (Line of Dialogue) – “It’ll be dark soon and they mostly come at night, mostly”.

The theme was simple for us, we’d do a news program viewed as if the person was sat in front of the TV flicking through the channels, that way we could do all sorts of random things that would be fairly weird, funny, odd etc and push them into a five minute slot, the only real thing holding it together was the ‘character’ of Wal who was watching the TV….

Anyway, I was editing the video and my poor PC was cranked for the entire weekend whilst making it, here is the resulting clip for our team for the 2014 competition called ‘Wals TV’.

Now, whilst this was a little quirky there are two ‘classes’ to the competition, the first was the 48hr for which the majority enter, the second is an open class which can be about anything but again must be no longer than five minutes….Well, given I had all the footage I put together an ‘outtakes’ video of us trying to make the first one – I have to say I prefer this of the two….Here it is:

The voting started last night with us watching two and a half hours of the 48hr class videos, there were some odd, some good, some downright weird and I think ours sits in the middle somewhere! I’ll update next blog to let you know how we got on.

Davis Camera Club

There appears to be some great excitement in the Davis Camera Club at present – Firstly, I made that up, there is no camera club but there may as well be, the number of cameras on station are phenomenal, I personally reckon Nikon owe me some serious sponsorship given how much I’ve been endorsing their products this year (that was a hint Nikon, I’d like a D810 sent down on the ship please!!), secondly, the excitement is only really because the opportunity will soon be upon us to purchase some new toys and get them delivered on the second of our two mail runs of the year. Having been down here a year, we all know what’s missing in our lives, 150mm to 600mm lenses, full frame upgrades, you name it, the discussions have been had on all levels of technology we now just need to put our money where our mouths are and break out the visa cards that have remained unused for the last year. Yesterday was great, we all brought out our lenses and bodies and discussed the merits of each, tried every single possible combination of lense and body and were, well, to be honest, still quite indecisive…The funniest moment was us all taking pics of each other taking pics of each other..

 

Sorsdal Glacier Quad Trip

Map

Today was a quick Sunday jaunt out to the Sorsdal Glacier which is at the southernmost end of the Vestfold Hills and is the limit of our area of recreational travel, it’s great to be able to get right up to the glacier (within reason) and see it at sea level. It was pretty windy today and the light wasn’t great to start off with but once we got there the sun came out for a bit and gave us a chance to take some photos and have a look around. We took the little red ponies out for a spin (quad bikes) which always adds a little bit more complexity to your trip, you can’t afford to forget a balaclava or have a part of your neck unwrapped as you’ll pretty quickly find that the 30kmph of driving into a head wind of the same speed will easily result in an air temperature that will cause you a lot of pain…..Quading is great fun but at the same time very unforgiving if you forget something – Anyway, some photos of that:

George’s Birthday

My youngest fella had his Birthday this week (8 years old), not really much you can do from down here (apart from visit Amazon and rack up a credit card bill) but we do have a ‘board’ for birthday’s which goes up in front of the public webcam so that family can see at home – Myself and josh set the board up last week and made a very poor attempt at a sign. Unfortunately I had to take the sign down about six hours later as the winds from the plateau had crept up meaning I nearly went hangliding as I had to get the board indoors before we both dissapeared….Anyway, Happy Birthday George!!

Happy Birthday George!

(http://www.antarctica.gov.au/webcams/davis)

Work Related Stuff

As the end of the season is approaching there’s that feeling at the back of your mind that things need doing, reports need writing, projects need finalising etc. I’ve all but had it confirmed in writing that I will be staying on for the Summer so when some of us board the ship back to Aus this November I’ll be staying here for another few months and will be home sometime in April. Knowing what Kingston have in store from a communications perspective I reckon we’re going to be pretty busy during Summer so I really want to try and get as much work squared away as possible prior to that time to give myself some room to breathe. I won’t bore you with the aspects of exactly what those jobs are but here are some random shots of recent work that is very far removed from my prior job in local government in Queensland! See if you can guess what they’re about…

Right then, have a good week in the real world, try to not let everybody bomb each other this week please!!

Cheers

Stu

 

 

 

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