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Infrared exposure and airport questions
Old 11-24-2004, 07:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm going to Antarctica in a couple of weeks. My original plan was to shoot all digital, but I started thinking the other night. I enjoy shooting infrared, and could get some really interesting results in Antarctica. After a little more research and a few emails with some polar photographers, I can't find any input, or any evidence that anyone has tried infrared there. I'm sure someone has, but I can't seem to track them down.

So I'll throw these questions out to the forum:

Would the exposure of infrared be significantly different in Antarctica than it would be at less extreme latitudes? I think it would, but how much?

I've had problems getting infrared film through airports. In Reno, the agents called a supervisor when they didn't know what to do. When she showed up, she opened the container before I had a chance to explain. I threw the container with the film in the trash can right in front of her. She explained later that she would have had to determine, one way or another, that it was film that was in the container. Looking back, a closet or a changing bag MIGHT have worked. I wish I would have at least looked at the film cassette. I've never seen one. I wonder if it has writing on it that says something like, "Hey, you're stupid."

On the same trip, when I left San Antonio, all they did was swab the container and run the swab through their sniffing machine. They seemed to understand about the film and were willing to accomodate me.

In Reno, they kept asking, "What speed is it?" It seems like 800 is the magic number to keep it from going through the xray. I tried to explain that it's high speed infrared, and has no ISO rating. Ever seen a deer in the headlights, trying to look inteligent and official?

Sorry for the long story, but it leads up to my next questions:

PPA isn't any help. Does anyone know if ASMP, or any other group could help?

If someone opened the container, very briefly, and then closed it again, indoors, what effect would that have on exposed and unexposed film?

If I put the film in my pocket, and walked through the metal detector, would that effect it. The stainless steel pins in my foot don't set them off, so I'm sure film cassettes wouldn't either.

I know the FAA allows hand inspections, but I've got a horror story about coming back from Equador, four weeks after 9-11.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Infrared exposure and airport questions
Old 11-24-2004, 08:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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With appropriate filters many digital cameras are capable of capturing infrared images. Nikons and Fujis work very well at this. Tiffen 87 filter, ISO to 1600, lens wide open, start at 1/30 and experiment with shutter speeds. At least with digital you can delete what you don't like. I still have a roll of infrared film in the freezer (exposed) since no one in my area develops it anymore.
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That\'s a thought
Old 11-24-2004, 08:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm familiar with that but haven't tried it.
I'm taking two 10D bodies. Maybe I'll take my D30 to try your suggestion.

Thanks.
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Re: That\'s a thought
Old 11-24-2004, 09:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My EOS 300D (aka Digital Rebel) has the same image sensor your 10D body does and it works just spiffy with my Tiffen #87A infrared filter.

Incidentally, most "metal detectors" are devices called magnetometers. They look for metals by their electromagnetic signature. They don't do anything to film because they don't emit high-energy photons like x-ray machines do.

M
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You should check out the performance. . .
Old 11-24-2004, 09:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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of any device to be used in extreme cold. I understand that some digitals are problematic in extreme temperture variations.
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Extreme Cold?
Old 11-25-2004, 12:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey, it's summertime there right now. I'm just taking cutoffs and flipflops. In case it happens to get cold, I'm packing a pair of socks.

Seriously, I echo your sentiments, Carlos, and have made provisions for that.

Thanks,

Scott
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Re: Infrared exposure and airport questions
Old 11-25-2004, 04:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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While in Antartica, will you be staying at a pre-determined hotel (or friends' home)? If so, you might consider mailing (FedEx, UPS Global, etc) the film to your destination with a "Hold for PickUp Upon Arrival" notice for the front desk personnel. A phone call clueing them in ahead of time might be a good idea as well.

Hotels receive boxes of materials & equipment shipped in advance of business meetings and/or conventions all the time. Yours would likely be much easier to deal with due to size & weight.

Just a thought.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
j
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Re: Infrared exposure and airport questions
Old 11-25-2004, 11:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The new Xray's at almost all major airports will toast any ISO/ASA film if in checked bagage. IR film loaded and unloaded in total darkness. Changing bag works great. Kodak has done an extensive test on the Xray equipment one generation back. I have a copy of this in pdf format if anyone is interested. The new gen of xray equipment is much worse than the prior, and it (prior) was bad enough.
If you develope B&W at home you can do your own IR. Have a safe trip! --Bill
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Re: Infrared exposure and airport questions
Old 11-25-2004, 04:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]

[...snip...]
If I put the film in my pocket, and walked through the metal detector, would that effect it. The stainless steel pins in my foot don't set them off, so I'm sure film cassettes wouldn't either.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

[/ QUOTE ]

Stainless steel alloys with high nickel content is non magnetic. Therefore it would not trip metal detectors. This sort of stainless steel is often used in medical stuff.

The metal in the film canisters are magnetic and would set off the metal detector.

However, I suppose you could put the film into a plastic bulk film container and that wouldn't cause any problems.
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