…From the edge climates such as Alaska, Iceland, and Russia. Working in these places involves a lot more effort, and I have always been a bit masochistic. I believe you have to suffer for your photography. Well, you and the surfers are swimming in brutally cold water. We are talking [temperatures just above freezing]. It’s even worse on the beaches because of the wind chill. This kind of cold really takes its toll on your gear, particularly battery life. There isn’t a single camera battery that can last long at such temperatures. All I can do is keep my batteries in a pouch close to my chest, so my body helps to keep them warm.
It’s also really important to keep the cameras in the same climate they will be facing outside. You can’t keep them in warm hotel rooms or cars and then suddenly take them outside, because the lenses will fog up. camera well, particularly the limitations of its dynamic range. I tend to shoot the white wash (when the waves crash onto the beach) by overexposing by two stops. This helps you to bring back detail at the editing stage.
It’s hard to think about creative composition when you’re struggling with the cold, but this is just something that comes with experience. You can’t teach it. As regards lighting, I’m very interested in making the most of the available natural light, so I hardly ever use flash or lights. Not really, but I once had to be dragged out of the sea and taken back to the car. My legs were like a pirate’s peg legs. I couldn’t feel anything. Several of the surfers have gone hypothermic. We don’t camp; we just turn up to the beaches in cars, so we need some
1 (Previous page) Lofoten Islands, Norway Chris says: “Dane Gudauskas does his best to stand out amidst the untamed Arctic coastline.”