Last week I mentioned my plans to do a first test of my large format camera system in extreme cold weather conditions, which are currently dominating to most parts of Europe. Last Sunday I went to Lake Geneva shore close to small town called Anthy-sur-Leman in France. I got there just before sunrise and thermometer in my car was showing -12 degree Celsius, which would not be that bad, if there was not strong cold wind blowing from North-East. These two factors combined together created real feel temperature well below -20 degree Celsius. As every landscape photographer can tell you it’s not so much fun to be out there if you feel cold, so to protect myself in those conditions I recently purchased special winter jacket from Sirjoseph and I have to say that it did exceed all my expectation. I did not feel the cold at all and I was able to easily wait for my long exposures to finish and in total I spent couple of hours outside without feeling cold.
There was no problem with my cloths, but the camera system got some little tiny hiccups. First of all I have only one adaptor ring for the Lee filter holder and believe me or not it did freeze onto the lens, and could not remove it, therefore I was able to use the filters only with one lens. Second problem happened just little while after that, when water from the lake got onto the tripod legs, which of course frozen immediately so I could not lower the tripod for the rest of my photo session. But to be honest those problems are not related to particular camera system, it would have happened with any camera I would take with me that morning. Overall I have to say, that the Ebony proved to be very solid camera and it was not difficult to use it in cold and windy conditions and I am feeling more and more confident in using it. I am definitely taking it with me to Iceland in early March this year. It is really nice that you do not have to worry about buttery life and the total manual control over the camera is becoming advantage in those extreme weather conditions. There is one thing you have to pay extra attention during cold temperatures and that is the static electricity, which can impact the negatives in film holders or camera backs, therefore all film winding or dark slide movements have to be done very slowly. But again the fact that this system is fully mechanical gives me the comfort to control all those potential troubles.
I have photographed this particular tree few times in the past and I had one particular image in my mind, where snow is covering the shore and low clouds together with fog are covering the lake and making otherwise quite busy scene more simple and abstract. It got almost perfect this time, but still the ideal picture is about to be taken in the future.