Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Rescue Mission

The recent US Government Shutdown came at great expense to the American people.  One of the side effects was that our national parks were shut down for two and a half weeks.  Ordinarily this is merely an inconvenience, but in my case it was a serious problem:  the Sunrise area closes on October 15, and the shutdown meant that my pinhole cameras would be irretrievable until next Summer.

... or would they be?  Benson suggested that we could boldly hike up from the White River campground and rescue the cameras in an epic 9-mile, 2500-ft elevation change day hike.  And so the rescue plan was born.  Remarkably, all of my cameras were still intact and where I left them and had not been found by curious or vigilant hikers.  A few of the results came out looking great, but I learned a few more lessons:

  • The pinhole really should be as small as possible for a sharp image.  If a camera is to be left out for months or longer, a very small sewing pin will suffice.
  • If the can is mounted vertically, then the pinhole should be on the cylindrical edge of the can and near the top of the can as it is mounted.
    The pinhole should be near the top of the can assuming the can is mounted vertically.
  • Ideally, a subject should either have extreme color variation, be shiny, or be partially transparent.  The shadow of the subject should hit the can directly for part of the day.

Here are the successful photos:

Taken from the base of a tree on the Sourdough Ridge trail, exposed June 30-Oct 26 2013.
Camera from a dead tree on a rock outcropping.  Exposed June 30-Oct 26 2013,
Taken from behind a stump.  Exposed June 30-Oct 26 2013.

Thanks to Benson for challenging Simiao and I to undertake this daring rescue.  He took some photos of his own that you might enjoy.

Mission successful!

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