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209-JournalistReport

Journalist Report
02/09/2014
Tereza Pultarova

Martian photographer

Our cameraman and photographer Filip has been around all these days,
running with the tripod and
switching between a camera and a camcorder to make sure we have all
the documentation we need.
Although it has been his first space-like experience, he is certainly
no newcomer to extreme
environments. He filmed during an arctic track across the Spitsbergen
island of the Svalbard
archipelago and as a TV cameraman visited many war zones. We asked
him, how difficult it is to be a
'Martian' photographer.

"The biggest problem is that we don't have specialised equipment
here," Filip said. "For example
when Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon they had a specially
built Hasselblad camera. You need
all the buttons to be designed for use in thick gloves. Another
problem is that you can't put your
eye on the viewfinder if you are wearing a space suit helmet. Although
all modern cameras are
equipped with LCD panels, in such intense sunlight as we frequently
have here, you can hardly see
anything on those panels. That means you have to rely on automatic
programs a lot, which makes the
whole process a little bit less controllable."

Despite enjoying his Martian experience, Filip believes in a real
Martian mission, a human cameraman
would be rather superfluous.

"Digital technology has taken over and I think it might not even be
necessary for a human operator
to be there to pull the trigger - all cameras and camcorders now can
be fully automated and the
footage would be of such a quality that you could use it even for
still photography," said Filip.

"I think that in the near future, every astronaut will have a
continuously running camcorder
attached to his spacesuit, which could be used not only for
documentary purposes but also to retrace
what the astronaut did in case of some technical issues. Continuous
recording is not a problem
anymore, as we are not using any film material or tapes, it's all
digital and very easy."
During the mission, the Crew 135 has tested some innovative devices
that could be used for
experiments and documentary film-making alike.

"We have tested here a couple of gadgets that could be mounted either
on an all-terrain vehicle or
directly on a space suit or a helmet. These cameras are really
interesting as they offer the point
of view of a subject," explains Filip. "You can see exactly what the
person is doing with his/her
hands, where he or she is going, what he can see. That's really interesting."

The team has also tested Google's newest much-hyped wearable gadget -
the GoogleGlass. Although
Filip wasn't particularly impressed with the quality of the footage
acquired through the glasses, he
said he believed there might be a future for such devices in extreme
environment film-making
"I think Google Glass could work well for wireless transmission of
images and footage so you could
operate the camera remotely by Google Glass. That's definitely
technically feasible," said Filip.