The recent “Polar Vortex” phenomenon in the media, which covered half of the United States, reminded me of taking photos in similar occurrences in other places on earth… as you go to extreme high altitude. This time was on Cotopaxi in Ecuador, a 17,000 ft. giant volcano.
Thinking the media created yet another dazzling weather term – I looked it up, the phenomenon is real, repeatable occurrences were observed and first recorded in 1856. It is basically… really f-ing cold.
Taking photos in extreme climate create real challenges, below zero degrees (F). Creativity diminishes as the temperature drops, toes and fingers… numb – minimize brain connectivity, condensation on the camera ices instantly, and battery life fades fast. You fumble, scratch ice off the lens, take a shot, and hope at least one image turns out.
These images are from one of the last roles of 35mm Kodachrome 64 film I shot. So the elements of keeping film from cracking and breaking from the cold was a concern. Not so in the digital age.