Don't worry...as long as you have a great time! You'll probably end up taking better shots than us lot! If you go to Destinations/Arctic...the bit where I hope to keep my camera's dry, you can meet Sam who is coming too, and join in our great "what to pack" debate!
Arthur & Mary Cooper
We are worried that we will be the oldest of the group at 74 years and have difficulty getting in and out of the zodiacs.
Nice to meet you!
Don't worry, there will be trained staff to help us with the zodiac's. The important thing is to do what you are comfortable with and enjoy yourselves. I think you should be really proud of youselves...you wouldn't find the average 74 yr old on a polar expedition!
So everyone stop worrying and lets get excited, less than 7 weeks to go and we'll be in the Arctic!!!
Shows how easy getting on and off on a slightly different ship.
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I am in the same boat that I think you are: ie; v interested in taking better photographs but have only regular (yet trusted) camera/lenses (ie entry-level digital SLR). Having been on a similar trip to Antarctica (where my No. 1 camera got nicked in Buenos Aires so had to use back up camera on the trip), I think that as long as we're in the right place at the right time with the right lens then we should be OK. Rather that than 'all the gear, but no idea' eh? Am counting down the days! Thought I'd have trouble adapting from the heat of summer to Polar conditions: ha ha, fat chance!
I am coming too, and am definitely NOT a photographer! I have decided that rather than do a crash course with a new camera, I shall just enjoy the wildlife and let you do all the phots!! Someone might be kind enough to send me a few when we get back???????!
Looking forward to meeting you all
Good to meet some more people on the trip!
Finally I sat my exam in Performance Mngt this week, so with that behind me I can concentrate on all things polar! Think it's fair to say I've gone completely haywire and am driving everyone up the wall, but hey...I'm really excited!
Diane-I would suggest at least a simple point and shoot? Holiday photo's are a great pick me up when you get back home and when you look at them in years to come the memories will come flooding back.
My first reaction if you don't want to get into full on DLSR photography would be why upgrade? If simple is a priority and the camera you have takes good quality pics you also have the advantage of knowing your way round it. Point and shoots are also really good quality nowadays, and you should get great landscapes and shots of the people you meet.
If you do upgrade I would give priority to having more zoom, without loosing quality. You may even want to consider a bridge camera. In any case you will find any extra zoom useful for the wildlife. Suggest you go a talk to someone at your local camera shop. Tell them what you want to do with the camera and ask them to show you the options and how they work. Then go home and consider carefully if the camera you already have already meets your needs. Read a few reviews on the internet if something has tempted you and most of all if you buy-practice with the new camera before the trip. Remember also if you upgrade you may need different batteries and memory cards, and lots of spares.
Good luck with the shopping and don't be pushed into impulse buying!
Let me know how you get on.
Hi, my husband Gerry is more of the keen photographer. I just have a point and shoot and enjoy just watching the wildlife. You can miss some of the joy of seeing it if you spend all your time taking photos. However, a tip for photographers - don't try and get as many photos as possible on a card by doing photos at low resolution. We went on the Antarctic trip a couple of years ago and some people with really powerful lenses had worse photos than ours when we were using a less powerful lens, because we could blow the centre of the photo up on the computer without losing any resolution. It is worth taking a laptop with you so you can download photos each night and weed out ones you don't want and edit ones that you do. It saves a lot of time when you get home! However, don't do what we did once - leave the card in the computer and take photos without it in the camera - we missed the shot of the trip!
We were given a DVD at the end of the trip with all the photos that were downloaded onto the computer on board the ship while we were at sea - so if you don't want to invest in an upgraded camera, you don't have to.
Regarding getting into Zodiacs - I was just getting over a broken leg so was a bit worried, but had no trouble. There were other people on the Antarctic trip who were fairly infirm and the staff managed to get them into and out of the Zodiacs with reasonable ease. It is really only difficult if there is a high swell.
Couldn't agree more, it's so tempting to just go crazy with the camera, but actually if we can resist for just a few minutes and watch it also makes you think about composition, focal length light etc and it's likely the shots will be all the better for that and when you put the camera down and look around you, you realise how many things you hadn't noticed. However easier said than done!
Also I would never shoot anything but RAW. Compare the quality to the cost of a few extra memory cards and its no contest. OK downloading is a bit lenghty, but I just get into the habit of starting the download when I have something else to do...when you come back its done. Same applies for converting to jpeg if you want. The other down is memory on your PC. Solve that with an external hard drives and/or CD's, but don't go kicking yourself cos you took the perfect shot, but the resolution is too low.
Wish I could bring my lap top, but I'm already pushing my luck with hand luggage in size and weight. It's so useful to look at the photo's straight away,see where you're going wrong and try to get it right next time. It's so true that you learn from your mistakes!
Do you have any tips for us about what to pack having been to Antarctica?
Hello: just reading Diana and Thelma's comments about not watching everything through a viewfinder - that's so true. Some things are impossibile to photograph because they are too close and you just have to be in the moment! I was lucky enough to experience three sleepy humpback whales checking us out in a zodiac in the Antarctic. They came VERY close and swam under and around us, too close to photographs as they would have just been grey blobs, but utterly magical to witness and possible my best encounter with wildlife ever! I'd rather have that sort of encounter than having tiny whale tails in the distance on a grainy photograph. Incidentally, top tip for what to take is lots of layers, particularly for extremities. In the Antarctic found that having a thin pair of thermal gloves that I wore under my big waterproof ones, meant that when I needed to take photos I could just take off the outer layer, and not lose digits due to the cold. Also I would recommend taking a dry bag for camera gear to put inside your rucksack: combats the change of temperatures from zodiac to boat. Also take lots of batteries as their charge plummets in the cold, even when carrying them in your Quark parka's inside pocket. I suspect that I am teaching my grannies to suck eggs here... Factor 50 sun cream, good dark sunglasses...
sorry - pressed 'post' by mistake!
Just wanted to check on the RAW/jpeg question. I have always taken Jpegs due to storage issue and lack of time for post-production processing. Is the quality really that much better? I think I can take both formats at the same time, which I may do... I took 1200 photos (the ones that were worth keeping) in Antarctica and the thought of having to convert a similar number again is a bit of a shocker as I am always v time poor!
I can't see the need for trekking poles at all. Nobody had them on the Antarctica trip and I don't think they are suggested for Svalbard (please correct me if I am wrong!) I normally always use them for walking, but the walks we did in Antarctica were short and not very steep and if they were on snow they provided shoe shoes.
Thanks for the You Tube web site video. It looks only slightly more difficult than the Dittisham ferry on the River Dart, so we are more confident now!
Mary & Toddy
Following your comments about managing zodiacs, we have no worries now.
I found them invaluable on the Lapland trip when walking on slippery snow.
I shall be bringing mine.
Has anyone had a go yet? I got a new luggage yesterday and tried putting a few suitably polar things in it. This was followed by a trip back to the shop to swop said luggage for a bigger one! All things polar are SO bulky! That said I don't think weight is ever going to be the problem just volume. Anyway I suggest you all have a bash pretty soon and leave time for a Plan B!
Thelma you've there this already...what's the advice? All I can think is to made do and make full use of the Vav's laundry facitliy!
Thelma, how warm is the ship - summer or winter clothes?
Following the comment about poles they may be quite useful, the walks may be quite different to Antarctica, but I could manage in the snow there OK without them.
Packing is always a problem. I bought some of the bags you can roll up to get rid of the air and make things smaller (Lakeland have them as well as other places). However, they can give your clothes creases.
I managed by washing undies and T-shirts in the shower room but that holiday was twice as long, so for 10 days you may be able to take enough! I usually wore T-shirt and fairly lightweight trousers on the ship. I hope this helps.
Just following up on Thelma's comment, don't forget that you get a Quark parka which has a removeable inside fleece (very warm with lots of useful pockets for carrying camera batteries etc.) so no need to pack another bulky fleece... I found that long-sleeved thermal underwear (M&S) under a polo neck, then Quark fleece and parka, waterproof trousers, plus scarf, hat and 2 x gloves and 2 x socks (long ski socks particularly good) was the general attire for trips off the ship (wellies provided). Inside: jeans, vest and jumper and comfy shoes/trainers was the order of the day. The problem was getting kitted up quickly to dash outside when shouts of 'whales' came over the intercom.
We had an on-board 'shop' where I spent waaaaay too much on fluffy socks with penguin motifs, and an new fleece 'cos it said 'Antarctica' on it. I was drugged up to the eyeballs on anti sea-sickness tabs at the time... love them though.
Hope this helps.
Mary & Arthur Cooper
See you either at Heathrow or Oslo for the 7 hour wait. We contacted Krim at Exodus and she said that we could get a train from the airport into Oslo but would have to collect our luggage and take it with us, then re check it in again. So we are taking books to read and food to eat at the airport.
See you soon,
Mary & Arthur.
Mary & Arthur.
Hi, we are also on the 13:05 flight from Heathrow so will meet some of you at the airport. You should be able to recognise me from my photo - so please come over and introduce yourselves.
See you there
Thelma and Gerry
I am also on the flight from Heathrow on Friday.
Just read the review from someone who was on the June trip and they had 31 sightings! All packed and now just want to go!.
Hopefully I will meet some of you at the airport.
I am itching to get away from my desk! As ever, trying to cram two weeks worth of work into one week, I've not even through about my packing and the stress levels are rising... however, it will be worth it. I am also on the 1305 from Heathrow, and the 2040 from Oslo. Can I suggest that we put our Exodus tags on our hand luggage, so we can at least spot each other in the departure lounge? Would also be nice to meet the person I am sharing a cabin with!
Looking forward to meeting you.
We are on the 10:20 flight from Heathrow and 20:40 from Oslo. hence the 7 hour wait !
We see we are the only ones (so far) on this earlier flight.
Mary & Arthur
Not sure if you have seen the latest review against the trip from someone who has just returned but they had 31 sightings!
Not long now..
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