I just got back from a long-ish trip away in northern Canada. Actually I've been back a couple of weeks already but it feels both like I was never away and like I was only there the other day, weird. Perhaps it's because, while I've slotted straight back in to "normal life" and the old routines, I am spending much of my time editing and processing the images I came back with. I'm transported back every day to the snows of Quebec and Labrador, even as the Spring sun shines outside.
For part of my time in Canada I was walking with a group of Innu who were following old hunting trails from community to community to raise awareness of the epidemic of Diabetes that has affected them since they gave up nomadism and settled in towns. Whilst I was with them we covered about 120km or so on snowshoes through a landscape of spruce forests, frozen river valleys and lakes. Some nights we stayed in cabins, other nights we set up tents, carpeted with fragrant spruce boughs in the Innu style. I actually slept much better in the tents, even when the temperature dropped to -50 degrees C (props to Alpkit for their sleeping bags, a wise investment). The coldest nights were the clearest nights of course, and I had a chance to try some long-exposed starscapes. The night skies were glorious, a high definition explosion that made me realise how impoverished night in the city has become with it's cataract of light pollution.
I had some concerns about my DSLRs coping with the extreme temperatures but they worked perfectly throughout. On one of the coldest days, after about 8 hours outside, the LCD panels started to fade and slow and the focus got a bit gluey but I still shot images without a problem. My biggest problem was operating the camera through my mitts but at -50 you don't take your mitts off. Image © Dominick Tyler 2012