Monday, October 16, 2006

One big happy family...from a distance

Every year we take a photo of the crew, or most of the crew, and it's always a challenge to come up with a shot that's different from what's been done in previous years. As the winterover group gets larger, it's also harder to figure out a good vantage point from which to set up the camera but this year, Robert Schwarz and Denis Barkats came up with an ingenious idea: mounting a camera on an old weather balloon and sending it aloft to take the picture.

Here's Robert making his way from the BIF (balloon inflation facility) over to the ceremonial pole where about 50 of us were assembled. The camera was tied to the end and set to take a photo every 5 seconds. He kept it warm by wrapping a sock around it and stuffing hand warmers inside. Otherwise, at -80F, the battery in the camera will freeze in a matter of minutes.

There were a few kinks to work out so we were just standing around waiting for the whole assembly to go airborne. The short person in the red parka...that's me.
Finally, the balloon was reeled out and manuevered into place, snapping away photos on its way up. We have a lot of shots that are off-centered because it was a little tricky getting right position and angle for the balloon.

But in the end, we came up with a good shot, which was combined with an earlier photo taken in the gym and this is our official Winterover 2006 group photo:

And one last shot that someone took of the whole circus from the galley window.


At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Reader from Jeff's said...

What is that vapor plume coming from in the left of your first picture?

At 8:08 AM, Blogger 90south said...

Sounds like Mr. Schwarz hasn't lost any of his creativity. Great pictures!

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

Ahhh yes, the generators in the power plant create a lovely eternally spewing plume of grey exhaust from the stacks. We burn aviation fuel brought in on the LC-130s to power this whole place. Fortunately, the exhaust is usually downwind from where the NOAA folks take their clean air samples.

At 6:02 AM, Anonymous reader from Jeff's said...



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