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Photography in the ice:6 days Arctic journey

Arktisreise Fotografieren im Eis

In March 2018, Thomas Güttler, Managing Director of Rollei, was on a photo tour in the Arctic. We tell you here what he experienced there and what it's like to photograph at -20 degrees Celsius.

Join us on an exciting journey to the Arctic!

Day 1: The arrival
Day 2: The emergency hut
Day 3: Shooting in and around Longyearbyen
Day 4: Exploring a ghost town
Day 5: Arctic Silence
Day 6: Farewell in rough weather
Bonus: taking pictures in the freezing cold


Day 1: The arrival

The permanent ice of the Arctic Ocean and the nature of the Norwegian archipelago of Spitsbergen offer an overwhelming backdrop for photo shoots in general and long exposure/filter shots in particular. In this multi-part blog article series, Thomas Güttler, Managing Director of Rollei and an enthusiastic nature photographer, takes us on a truly unique photo safari that he will remember for a long time 

As the managing director of Rollei and an experienced landscape photographer, Thomas Güttler is often on the road for business and pleasure. He knows countless top photo locations around the world almost from the back of his hand. Nevertheless, the one-week excursion into the eternal ice of the Norwegian Arctic Sea was also a premiere and a truly incomparable experience for the passionate globetrotter. This actually extremely inhospitable part of the world, just a snowball's throw from the North Pole, attracted the photo professional with its impressive nature and the really breathtaking silence, the so-called Arctic Silence completely under its spell. Bann.

Anreise nach Longyearbyen

Getting to Longyearbyen

The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard Cool Coast, better known in Germany as Spitsbergen, is not that easy to get to, although tourism is now considered one of the main sources of income for the almost 2,600 inhabitants. In order to travel from the Rollei location in Norderstedt near Hamburg to the main town of Longyearbyen, Thomas Güttler had to fly from Hamburg to Frankfurt, on to Oslo and finally to Svalbard lufthavn Airport, Longyear and had to get up at 4:30 a.m.ufstehen.

In the course of the numerous transfers, a suitcase was promptly lost. Fortunately, the Rollei team only had to do without the warm winter clothes. What sounds rather critical in view of the weather conditions at the destination only at first glance, you will find out the reason for this in the further course of this blog article series. Thomas Güttler prudently carried the much more valuable photo equipment, which was really crucial for the success of the arctic photo safari, and because of his many years of frequent flyer experience, it was well packed in the right onessenden Rollei photo bags and backpacks With.

Rollei Fototaschen und -rucksäcke

Robust equipment

Of course, the extremely robust and completely cold and weather-resistant travel and outdoor tripods of the Rollei Lion Rock family With. Understandably, the demands on people and technology clearly exceed the general conditions that one finds even in the deepest German winter. The camera and equipment must work accordingly reliably. We will go into the special procedures for taking photos in the cold in the last post of this one blog article series even more detailed.

Rollei Lion Rock Stativ im Schnee

Pure anticipation

The very long flight and the numerous stopovers made Thomas Güttler's anticipation almost unbearable. The Arctic Circle with its vastness, the impressive nature and the necessarily very inventive and adaptable people is considered by many professional photographers to be the last blank spot on their world map of outdoor locations that have already been successfully ticked off.ons.

The view from the small, round window of the passenger cabin over the sheer endless landscape of ice and snow is excellent for finding your way back to the north, in the truest sense of the word, and for becoming fully aware of the power and beauty of our environment. The first overwhelming sunset in the Arctic Ocean also got the photo professional in the right mood for the unforgettable moments of the coming days.n.


Day 2: The emergency hut

In the first part of this blog article series on Thomas Güttler's spectacular photo safari in Spitsbergen's eternal ice, you could read about the not entirely uncomplicated journey and the first, already overwhelming impressions before arriving at Longyearbyen Airport. Today is all about the first photo tour and discovering an immensely photogenic foreground subject…

For Thomas Güttler, a promising day usually begins with a good sip of coffee. It doesn't matter in which region of the world the managing director of Rollei is currently traveling. The first morning in Svalbard also had a hearty and extremely tasty breakfast ready for the Rollei team so that they were well prepared for the physical exertion of the upcoming photo tour.

Ortsschild von Longyearbyen

Capital Longyearbyen

The starting point of all subsequent excursions was the main town of Longyearbyen, a former mining town and today's tourism and research hotspot. The town even has its own university center, UNIS (as a branch of the universities in Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology).

The place was named in the usual pragmatic Norwegian manner after the American entrepreneur John Munroe Longyear (byen = city), who built a miners' settlement for the Arctic Coal Company there in 1906.

After breakfast, the necessary equipment was carefully packed into theRollei photo backpacks packed and put on appropriate cold protection clothing. The own winter clothes haunted as inm first part already mentioned in the series of blog articles, following various detours after the Rollei team. Unfortunately, the lost suitcase had still not turned up..

With a snowmobile through the ice

Fortunately, the rental of the snowmobiles also included comfortable and warm overalls and mittens, which, despite the thick padding, still provided enough freedom of movement for steering the snowmobile. Snowmobiles are replacing cars on Svalbard. In the eternal ice of the archipelago in the polar sea, the road network is limited to a few places.

There are no overland connections between the cities. Basically, the snowmobiles have controls that are also known from quads, except for the thumb throttle, but require prior instruction due to the chain drive and the possible top speed of approx. 100 km/h. During the drive to the first shooting location, however, the Rollei team traveled much more slowly.

The unfamiliar locomotion and the sometimes very uneven ground actually caused a few falls, but they all ended lightly. Almost all models available on the market are equipped with a so-called dead man's device, which immediately stalls the engine after the driver has been lost, so that you can continue driving immediately after falling off the“.

Arktisreise Motorschlitten

First stop derelict emergency hute

The Rollei team made the first stop near the frozen surface of a fjord foothill. The glacial valley was completely surrounded by snow-capped mountains bathed in the bright sun. This panorama seemed impressive enough to the experienced landscape photographer. But the cherry on top of the snow-white cream cake was a derelict emergency hut that seemed to have been waiting for the team's cameras in the middle of the valley for decades.n.

Shooting verfallende Nothütte

The inhospitable and permanently snow- and ice-covered expanses of Spitsbergen are covered by a more or less even network of emergency huts. These extremely spartan shelters are not intended for permanent vacations, but to provide shelter, warmth, and sustenance to distressed travelers in the event of breakdown, accident, or extreme weather conditions. Until the situation has eased or rescuers have arrived.

At the emergency hut, which is constantly locked due to the curiosity of the local polar bears, you will find a box with the key. As soon as you could get yourself and your fellow travelers to safety inside, you should put the oven into operation. Emergency supplies and water ensure that you stay strong for a while. The emergency huts do not have any other luxury. The specimen in the glacier valley had already seen better days for several years and was understandably completely taken out of service. In the meantime, a modern mobile phone network also ensures almost seamless reception on Svalbard, so that emergency huts only have to offer shelter for several days in designated dead spots.n.

Arktisreise verfallene Nothütte im Eis

In order to be able to capture the loneliness of the location convincingly, the photo professional deliberately left out the rules of the golden section in the above shot and placed the ruins in the middle of the surrounding snow and mountain landscape and the bright blue sky of the short polar day.

lost place

On the way back, the Rollei team made a detour to a real Lost Place. The mystical, almost spooky atmosphere of the completely abandoned, former Russian mining settlement impressed Thomas Güttler so much that a longer stay was planned for one of the following days.e.

Arktisreise verlassene Geisterstadt


Day 3: Shooting in and around Longyearbyen

In part 1 and part 2 of this blog post series, you arrived on Spitsbergen with Rollei Managing Director Thomas Güttler and accompanied the Rollei team on their first snowmobile trip to a remote glacial valley that came up with a surprising foreground motif. The third part is about the shooting in and around Longyearbyen, the capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago (Svalbard in Norwegian)) …

On the first full day on Spitsbergen, the Rollei team passed a promising vantage point on the way back from the glacier valley with the extremely photogenic emergency hut. The spot presented an overwhelming view over Longyearbyen and the frozen fjord to the opposite mountain. This perspective should be examined more closely on the second day.n.

Arktisreise Shooting auf Spitzbergen

Numerous motif sources in and around Longyearbyen

But before he went up the hill, Thomas Güttler first ventured onto the pack ice of the local fjord in the main town. There, the experienced landscape photographer actually found a smaller ice-free spot that was ideal for reflecting the peaks of the mountain range opposite.n.

One of the reasons for staying in the immediate vicinity of the island's capital was also the fact that the very extensive snowmobile ride, which was quite unusual for the Rollei team, was still felt in every bone the following day. Fortunately, there are also numerous sources of motifs in and around Longyearbyen that were waiting to be processed.erden.

Arktikreise Motorschlitten

Concise past

Everywhere in town one is reminded of the past dominated by coal mining. All houses on Svalbard stand on piles, the permafrost soil does not allow any other foundations. The archipelago has limited self-government.

A Sysselmann resides in Longyearbyen as a representative of the Norwegian government, who also acts as police chief, assistant judge and owner and has his own ship, the Nordsyssel. Svalbard's autonomy was repeatedly discussed, but due to its proximity to Russia and the ambitions of the Moscow government, it was regularly shelved.rde.

Wegweiser Longyearbyen

Encounter with polar bears

Crossing polar bears can be expected at any time on the more than 400 islands and skerries that belong to Svalbard. That's why you hardly see anyone outdoors without a gun. In contrast to Bavaria, there are no identified problem bears in Norway, but you should always be prepared for a spontaneous attack in the event of a chance encounter. sein.

For the residents of the Arctic Circle, this necessity is just as much a part of everyday life as the polar night and the harsh climate. The polar bears, for their part, generally use the predominantly human-free zones in order to be able to go about their daily duties as relaxed and peacefully as possible. In the local branch of the Norwegian SpareBank, understandably, it is very important that no firearms are taken into the house.

Arktisreise Schusswaffen Verbot

main shoot

The main shooting of the second day in the eternal ice should then take place in the evening or at sunset. Thomas Güttler, with the practiced eye of a long-time filter photographer, found out the day before that the setting sun bathes the peak of the mountain Hiorthfjellet, which is directly opposite Longyearbyen, in an overwhelming, pink-colored light. The place itself remains largely in the shadow of the valley basin. .

Using the right filter

In order to prevent the lower part of the picture from completely drowning in the dark, the Rollei managing director used oneen SoftGND filters a. This darkens the upper area with a color-neutral gradient that fades evenly. And the details surrounding the settlement will continue to be preserved.

Arktisreise Berg Hiorthfjellet

The filter insert showed the desired effect during all phases of the sunset. The gradient from pink to violet in the completely cloud-free sky is reflected in the first photo in the clearly recognizable areas of snow in the foreground.

The Hiorthfjellet, which is huge compared to the houses huddled in the valley, occupies the pole position it deserves in the picture, radiant in all its glory.n.

Arktisreise Berg Hiorthfjellet

The color mood of the second shot is already moving strongly in the direction of blue/violet. Nevertheless, the short focal length ensures that all the details of this impressive panoramas be reproduced razor-sharp.

On the right edge of the picture you can see the towers of the coal conveyor railway, which, like a ski lift, was able to bring the coveted raw material from the seams in the mountain to the collection and transport point in Longyearbyen quickly and easily over the sometimes very high snowdrifts of the valley basin.

Arktisreise Berg Hiorthfjellet bei Nacht

The Last Shots“

The last shot is presented almost as a night shot, whereas the 928 meter high mountain comes up with a much more detailed shadow drawing. The lights have already gone on in every house in town. The residents of Longyearbyen are gradually preparing for the bitterly cold evening and night hours.r.

Arktisreise Winterstiefel

After these spectacular shots, the team built theirsRollei Lion Rock tripods off, packed themRollei rectangular filter and made his way back to the hotel. A rich dinner was already waiting for the photographers so that they could tackle the challenges of the next day with renewed energy and a good night's sleep.


Day 4: With Rollei in the Arctic's perpetual ice

In the first three parts of this blog article series, you landed with Rollei Managing Director Thomas Güttler in the eternal ice, drove to the dilapidated emergency hut on a snowmobile and took a good look around in and around Longyearbyen. The fourth part revolves around the ruined ghost town of Grumant and the unforgettable impressions on the icy fjord beach of the Arctic Ocean 

After a largely snowmobile-free day in the immediate vicinity of the main town of Longyearbyen, the bones of the Rollei team had recovered to some extent. So far, nothing stood in the way of the trip to the former Russian miners' settlement Грумант in German Grumant. Wege.

The ghost town

Already on the first day on Spitsbergen, the team passed this picture book-like Lost Place, got a brief overview and, as the hour was already quite late, decided to schedule enough time for an extended inspection the day after next. The straight line between the ghost town and Longyearbyen is only 12 kilometers, but this has to be covered on the uncomfortable saddle of a snowmobile and in the bitter cold.sen.

In the meantime, however, the participants in the Rollei Polar Expedition had a certain amount of routine in dealing with the main means of transport for the inhabitants of Svalbard, as the archipelago is called in Norwegian. Upon arrival, you first looked around the ruins of the houses, which at first glance were abandoned in a hurry. In fact, the Soviet coal mining company Arktikugol stopped mining as early as 1962. However, the remaining residents did not finally move out until 1965.

In its heyday in 1951/1952, 1106 people lived in Grumant. More than at the same time in the current capital Longyearbyen. The floor plans of most buildings can no longer be guessed at. In the arctic wind, only a few walls survive more or less intact, in which Thomas Güttler found rusty bedsteads, non-functioning fire extinguishers, worn miners' clothing and rotting furniture.d.

These objects created an atmosphere that was both creepy and steeped in history, but did not motivate the proven landscape and nature photographer to position his camera and tripod inside the ruins and look for suitable motifs. After the brief inspection, which also served to classify the area as reliably polar bear-free, at least for the next few hours, the Rollei team left the crooked walls again.r.

Arktisreise Geisterstadt

Striking building

Thomas Güttler, on the other hand, remembers the wooden jetty as the most striking building of today's ghost town, which ends with a simple shed that is now completely tile-free. In combination with the bizarre and rugged surface of the frozen water of the Isfjord and the setting sun, the scenery was very atmospheric. The participants of the Rollei expedition immediately took this up very pragmatically as a suitable background for product photos of the enormously resilient and cold-resistant ones Lion Rock tripods used.

Lion Rock Stativ im Eis

The Lion Rock tripod

In particular, the specially shaped steel spikes of the professional tripods are ideal for use on granite-hard glacier ice. Each spike tip drills into the ice at the right angle and thus ensures a really rock-solid footing even under the most adverse environmental conditions.

Lion Rock Stativ Stahl Spikes

„Slow photography“

For the photos on the fjord beach, Thomas Güttler deliberately allowed himself a lot of rest. First of all, he enjoyed the advantages of slow photography, but then he was surprised to find that he was not disturbed by any of the usual sources of noise during his

In the vicinity of the ruined ghost town, no car drives, no train rushes by, no smartphone begs for attention given the radio blackout. There are no birds around either, the polar bears keep a safe distance. If you keep quiet yourself, you will be almost overwhelmed by the absolute silence, but if you hold out a little, after a while a few natural sounds will creep into your

Thomas Güttler first noticed very quietly the crunching of the ice, which was gently pushed against each other by the movements of the fjord water below. But then I also noticed the almost imperceptible splashing of the waves. The Rollei managing director will never forget this impressive absence of civilizational distractions for the rest of his life.

In combination with the almost endless snow and ice desert of Spitsbergen, the calm almost moved the experienced globetrotter to tears. Nevertheless, the photo professional took a few more impressive product photos and then soon started the return journey, since even the thickly padded arctic overalls were simply not made for hours of enjoyment of the moment and the freezing cold eventually found its microscopically fine paths through the material and found.

Arktisreise Lion Rock Stativ Kopf


Day 5: "Arctic Silence"

After Rollei Managing Director Thomas Güttler was able to enjoy the almost perfect Arctic Silence in the fourth part of this blog article series near the abandoned, former Russian mining settlement of Grumant, he then encountered the ultimate undisturbed silence on a glacier near Svea on the fifth daye …

Day expedition to Svea

After the first four days on Spitsbergen, the Rollei team now had enough experience in handling the somewhat idiosyncratic snowmobiles. Thus, on the morning of the now fifth day, after a hearty breakfast and the careful packing of the valuable photo equipment, a rather demanding excursion over the frozen Arctic sea ice could be tackled.

The destination of the day's expedition, the southernmost settlement on Spitsbergen, has no direct road connection, like all places in the archipelago. The easiest way to get to Svea is by snowmobile, the standard form of personal transport for the people of Spitsbergen, across the consistently stable ice of the Van Mijenfjord. Although the team, led by an experienced guide, regularly checked the strength of the ice, Thomas Güttler sometimes felt a little uneasy about a few cracks and holes.e.


The place Svea

Unlike almost every other place on Spitsbergen, Svea is not on the Isfjord. Until coal mining was temporarily suspended in 2016, Svea housed up to 200 people who worked three weeks at a time in the Svea Nord mine and then spent two weeks of free time with their families in Longyearbyen.ten.

Today only a few people live in the village. The port, on the other hand, is still in operation. The team documented the rapid journey across the almost endless expanses of the ice desert of the Van Mijenfjord with the Rollei Actioncam 560 Touch, which has a sophisticated image stabilization function and a robust wrist strap remote control. Perfect for intuitive and safe operation at the wheel of a snowmobile.

After arriving in Svea, the participants of the Rollei Arctic Expedition found two very promising photo spots: directly on the beach of Svea, Thomas Güttler's team had an overwhelming view of the foothills of the fjord over irregularly distributed mirror surfaces of the frozen water surface, the then with the professional use of the appropriate onesen square filter could develop its full potential.

Arktisreise Svea Fjord

Icy silence

After an extensive shoot, the team set out to reach the plateau of the local glacier on time as the sun was approaching. This is where Thomas Güttler found the next level of Arctic Silence.“.

While the crunching of the pack ice and the soft rippling of the water could still be heard in Grumant, the members of the Rollei team were now literally surrounded by the uncompromising silence of the surroundings. Below them, masses of polar ice, above them the infinity of the sky, free of aircraft and, in the truest sense of the word, bird-free. There is no other creature around her more quiet and lonely than you can prepare for a majestic and incredibly colorful sunset.en.

Rollei Lion Rock Stativ Sonnenuntergang

Colorful sunset

After the cameras on the rugged Rollei Lion Rock tripods „in position and in the rapidly decreasing daylight with the professional rectangular filters, the planned departure of the polar sun bathed the supposedly monochromatic snow and ice landscape in rich orange, blue and violet tones..

Arktisreise Sonnenuntergang Polarsonne

Thomas Güttler is convinced that this sunset was one of the most moving and impressive moments that he was ever able to experience as a photographer.

Arktisreise Sonnenuntergang

To find yourself in a natural landscape that seems to stretch out endlessly in all directions and is almost completely untouched by humans, and yet the perfect camera location for unique shots and long exposures Finding one made the entire team feel so deeply satisfied that the strenuous drive back through the arctic cold of Spitsbergen almost flew by.


Day 6: Farewell in rough weather


The sixth and last travel post in this series of blog articles about the Rollei Arctic Expedition in spring 2018 shows the polar weather from its most inhospitable and wild side. This makes Rollei Managing Director Thomas Güttler say goodbye to this truly unique landscape with a little wistfulnesst …

The last day of the expedition

During the first five days, the Rollei team members were lucky enough to get to know the more pleasant side of the actually unpredictable polar weather almost continuously. Spring-like light-heartedness and temperatures in the double-digit plus range are not to be expected even during the height of summer. As a rule, even in August, the mercury columns of the local thermometers do not climb above 6 to 7 degrees Celsius.s.

Nonetheless, the snowmobile excursions had been accompanied by photography-friendly sun and scattered clouds up to that point. On the sixth and last full day on Svalbard, however, Thomas Güttler almost seemed as if the Arctic Circle did not want to release the Rollei team on the return journey without having given at least a small foretaste of the power of the weather.n.

Day 6 also included a snowmobile excursion. Conveniently, the tour led across the deep-frozen waters of the home fjord in the main town of Longyearbyen. After a hearty breakfast and a few cups of coffee, the photographic equipment was routinely packed into the Rollei backpacks. The temperature insensitivechen ROAll Lion Rock tripods were folded and stowed in their transport and storage bags. And then, with the onset of snowfall and really arctic minus temperatures, the engines of the snowmobiles could be started.

In the meantime, Thomas Güttler and his companions had mastered the Spitsbergen's favorite means of transport almost in their sleep. Regardless of your personal snowmobile experience, you should still drive with foresight and concentration while driving on the ice of the Isfjord. A frozen foothill of a fjord is not a developed and regularly maintained six-lane motorway after all.

Tensions in the ice or other causes can regularly lead to cracks or holes that can bring an abrupt and disastrous end to a promising snowmobile excursion. The Rollei team was accordingly cautious and reached the various spots unscathed thanks to the experienced guide.s.

Arktisreise Shooting bei Eisgestöber

Capture the day of the storm

As a passionate nature photographer, Thomas Güttler was actually relieved that on the last day he just got the opportunity to experience the whole spectrum of the northern polar weather. A decent wind whistled throughout the day with plenty of snow support and the temperatures dropped a fair bit further.ten.

Due to their good preparation and the quality of all the material, from the photo equipment to the transport containers to the impressively cuddly overalls, the Rollei team was again able to concentrate exclusively on the motifs and their most spectacular

At the end of the trip, Thomas Güttler was astonished to find that he actually sweated more often than he had to freeze. The filter-supported long-term exposure was ideal for capturing the special atmosphere of this last stormy day in the eternal ice of the Arctic Circle. This is one of the favorite disciplines of photo professional Thomas Güttler. The wind speed creates exciting structures in the sky. The snow flurry is completely eliminated by the longer exposure time:

Arktisreise Langzeitbelichtung Schneegestöber

Unexpected range of colors

Another phenomenon that many Svalbard visitors see during the white season is the range of colors in the supposedly monochrome snow and ice landscape. Depending on the position of the sun, cloud cover or the weather, what is actually a colorless environment is transformed into a canvas that is capable of displaying the entire color spectrum, including all pastel

In combination with the deep silence and the loneliness in the vastness of the deep-frozen Spitsbergen archipelago, this unmistakable perception is burned firmly and permanently into the memory of the visitor:n:

Arktisreise Spitzberge


Even after almost a year, Thomas Güttler's eyes still light up when he reports on this overwhelming expedition to the Arctic Ocean. The Rollei managing director and well-travelled landscape photographer was also impressed by the astonishing simplicity of this trip in retrospect.

Admittedly, planning, preparation and the flight to Longyearbyen with several stopovers were considerably more time-consuming and complex than a package weekend on the Balearic Islands, the most popular among Germans. Nevertheless, according to Thomas Güttler, nobody needs to fear a comparable tour.“.

With the support of an experienced island guide and taking advantage of the legendary inventiveness and helpfulness of the people of Spitsbergen, even photographers who normally feel more at home in tropical regions should get their money's worth. Those who prepare early and well, value robustness and a minimum quality standard for all their equipment and are prepared to be surprised again and again will be able to bring back unforgettable memories from a trip to Svalbard.

Arktisreise Lion Rock Stativ Eisgestöber

In conclusion

Unfortunately, the actual travel report is now over. But we don't just want to make your mouth water.ben.

So that you can put your enthusiasm for these unique photo spots in particular and photography in the cold in general into practice, we have prepared an additional goodie for you next Wednesday you will find one herenen Special contribution on the subject of taking photos in the freezing colde“ .


Arctic Special: Photographing in the freezing cold

You could follow the individual stages of the Rollei North Pole Expedition for over 6 weeks. They accompanied Rollei Managing Director Thomas Güttler on the trip across the frozen Isfjord, captured the mystical atmosphere of the former mining town of Grumant and were impressed by the all-encompassing Arctic Silence on the glacier plateau near Svea. As a goodie and a small thank you for your loyalty, we would like to give you four valuable practical tips today. In order tot be ableYou can achieve the best possible result and avoid unnecessary mistakes on your next trip to Svalbard but also as part of your normal outdoor shooting in winterden …


Tip No. 1: How to take photos with warm hands even at minus 20 degrees

The first tip is less about technical details or procedures, but rather covers the absolute basics. Because with fingers that have turned blue and are frozen from the cold, you already fail when mounting the photo equipment on the tripod, which is as insensitive as possible to the weather.v.

During the drive to the various photo spots, Thomas Güttler wore the thickly lined mittens that the Rollei team was given together with the practical overalls when they took over the rental snowmobiles. Understandably, these are ideal for controlling the nimble snowmobiles, but due to their construction, they did not cut a good figure when operating the sensitive and small-scale photographic equipment. Accordingly, Thomas Güttler took off her clothes after arriving at the planned camera location in order to get the photographic equipment ready for use and to make the necessary adjustments.n.

At minus 20 degrees, it only took a few minutes before the feeling left your fingertips and before long both hands began to hurt from the freezing cold. Fortunately, the travel-experienced photo professional hadn't forgotten to pack a pair of touchscreen-compatible leather gloves before departure. While these weren't as thickly padded as the snowmobile mittens, they were cut wide enough for each individual to accommodate a heat pack.

Before leaving for the respective photo locations, the Rollei managing director kneaded the heat packs properly and in this way activated the heat emission, packed them in the leather finger-hanging shoes, put them on and put on the mittens. In this station wagon, Thomas Güttler was able to both steer the snowmobile through the icy wind and operate his equipment as desired without his mittens. So cold fingers were a thing of the past for the rest of the trip. The passionate landscape photographer almost had to be careful not to get too warm..

Arktisreise Fotografieren bei eisiger Kälte

Tip #2: Don't forget spikes for both your shoes and your tripodv

The Rollei team was on Svalbard in spring 2018. At this time of the year, nature stirs again on the European continent, plants and animals wake up from their winter sleep. In the Arctic Circle, on the other hand, the depths of winter prevail, and the landscape is shrouded in a permanently frozen blanket of ice and snow..

In order to be able to walk reasonably safely on your own feet after leaving the hotel, there is actually no serious alternative to the robust spiked overcoat for winter boots. Nevertheless, on the first day on Svalbard, Thomas Güttler was not 100% sure whether he really had to do this ritual every morning.

After the first hesitant steps without spikes, however, he quickly learned better and enjoyed the following days about the uncomplicated walking even over mirror-smooth glacier ice. But not only the photographer, but also the camera should stand on stable and secure feet. The deployedn Rollei Lion Rock outdoor tripods of the Mark II generation feature specially angled spikes made of special steel that dig into ice, snow and rocks at the perfect 90 angle..

Rollei Lion Rock Outdoorstative Stahl Spikes

Tip No. 3: Camera batteries belong on the body

At first glance, the third tip may seem too banal or even old hat for some experienced outdoor photographers. Nevertheless, if you disregard it, you quickly find yourself in the unpleasant situation that you can perhaps take one or two more pictures at the dream location with perfect weather and a precisely aligned tripod with great difficulty before the very cold-sensitive batteries say goodbye to temporary hibernation.ieden.

Thomas Güttler once had to make this really unpleasant and avoidable experience himself during the North Pole trip and then carried all the batteries in the pocket of his clothes that he wore under his overalls..

Extra tip: The very sensitive camera should also be put back in its protective cover as quickly as possible after the shoot camera bag or in a photo backpack be stowed away. As expected, the team had suitable Rollei models with them, which then consistently proved themselves in tough North Pole use..

Arktisreise Fotografieren bei minus Temperaturen

Tip #4: Give the camera time to acclimate

According to tip no. 3, you have packed your camera in your well-padded camera backpack in an exemplary manner immediately after taking the picture (and ideally also during longer breaks in the cold). Now you come back to the heated base station after a more or less long return journey.ück.

Please don't make the mistake of unpacking your photo equipment right away and fiddling with it extensively. You should change the battery and remove the memory card as quickly as possible and then put the camera back in the transport case. After a few hours, your photo equipment will have acclimatized accordingly. You no longer have to worry about lenses fogging up or moisture damage from condensation.en.

Arktisreise Lion Rock Stativ Eisgestöber

Conclusion on taking photos in the cold

We hope that we have given you at least one or two helpful tips with this goodie and that we have been able to motivate you to tackle your shooting ideas even when the outside temperatures are rather unpleasant. Of course, this brief collection of tips does not claim to be complete.t.

Rather, we would like to get to know your own tips and tricks and share them in the community. What are your personal insider tips for taking really impressive photos even in the freezing coldn?

Share your experience with us!

1 comment

Hallo Thomas Güttler,
ich möchte dieses Jahr im April nach longyearbyen für ca. 5 Tage, um einige Expeditionen zu machen. Dazu benötige ich eine Kamera, die den Erfordernissen stand hält. Kannst Du mir eine Aufstellung der notwendigen Kameraausrüstung zusenden. Ich bin kein Fotoprofi, somit benötige ich einige Detailangaben zu der Kamera und Zubehör. Danke im voraus.
Christian Wolff

Christian Wolff,

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