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Under Water, Over Land
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Old March 26th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #1
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Shooting in the jungle.

Hey guys I'm going to Papua New Guinea at the end of the year to do a 2-3 week trek (most likely the Kokoda Trail). Naturally I want to take all my camera kit with me which will include two DV cameras (HDV if I can get a bit more funding) and several 35mm SLR cameras. I'm just curious as to what I need to do in regards to the climate change and condensation, especially concerning the camera lenses.

I'll be flying out from Perth, Western Australia where it averages around 35degree Celsius during the summer...but it can easily get towards the mid 40's. It's sometimes humid but certainly not severe. It is a desert state after all. I'm just worried what kind of effect it could have on my kit when I suddenly land up in the jungle coming up on the wet season. The Kokoda trail can get quite humid and is usually always warm until you get higher into the mountains. Should I be worried about my kit taking a bollocking from condensation? Should I let all my stuff 'acclimatize' for a couple of days in a local town away from the humidity? What do I do if I'm in the middle of the lenses do start fogging up?

Thanks for the help guys. I've got a lot of time to get my gear sorted by the time I go over the water...I just don't have an extreme budget.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 11:00 PM   #2
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Elliot,

The humidity should be relatively high. Im staying one deg north of the equator and every serious photographer or videographer will have dry cabinets to store the eqpt under controlled conditions.

I recommend that you get some Tupperware and silica gel(lots of it) and store your cameras and lenses in it every night after usage. When the silica gel turns pink (due to absoprtion of moisture), just heat them up in a pan over a fire and they are ready for use again.

Get ready your rain covers (dew in the morning is no joke). I would also use shower caps that you can find in hotels for the SLR lenses.

Cheers

WeeHan
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Old March 27th, 2007, 12:15 AM   #3
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Yeo,

Thanks for sharing this, it is great information for those of us way to the north for when we head to the south. We just do not know a lot about such things!! Mind you the bc coast is pretty wet.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 12:40 AM   #4
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Elliot,

Many years ago I shot a film at Mt Isa mines (in North Queensland) and from there went straight to the upper reaches of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea. We had no time for acclimatisation and the gear worked well but the humidity could have ruined the shoot because on the second day of our shoot I open the camera case to find about 1/2 " of water in the bottom of the case. I don't know where the water came from but maybe it was from putting the hot camera away in the case.

We didn't have any option of electrical dehumidifiers as we were just dropped off by helicopter on a river bank in the middle of the jungle, with the nearest native village hundreds of miles away.

I would suggest, as Wee Han has already suggested, that you taken silica gel but dont place it at the bottom of the case.

Good luck with the trip and remember that unless you have somebody to help with carrying the gear don't overload yourself as the "Kokoda Trail" is very rough
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:26 AM   #5
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Yeah I'm expecting quite a rough tab. I've done quite a bit of tabbing, both as a hobby and through army stuff, so I'm hoping that my mate and I will be able to be self sufficient. We'll really only be carrying camera gear and food that is suitable for our little hexy stoves and/or fire ditches.Two sets of clothing each (one dry one wet) and a decked out medikit should do us fine. Camera gear in one bergen and food and supplies in the other...aswell as what ever else we can fit in out army belkits (if we take them). I've also got the rest of the year to get in some extra conditioning in to go with the workouts I'm already doing.
Should be fun.

Thanks for the input guys. Very much appreciated.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #6
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Dale,

No problem at all. I love to share my experiences and it is the best way to give back to this great community!

Elliot,

I really rec that you bring the silica gel/beads along. Bring along a first aid kit and have malaria injections if possible. Consult your doctor and tell him/her you're heading for the tropics and need the appropriate vaccinations.

Cheers

WeeHan
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