Voyage of the Vasiliy Golovnin (2006) Ep.1
A videoblog of the Voyage of the Vasiliy Golovnin on a continental resupply of the three main Australian Bases, Casey, Davis & Mawson in 2006.
I was fortunate to receive the Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship in that year, where I shot a stereoscopic 3D movie and a number of high-definition panoramas. It was a great adventure, fulfilling a life-long dream to experience the frozen continent at the bottom of the world. The blank spaces on the map.
For this videoblog – it’s important to have a technological context – this is before the iPhone 1 even existed. Before smartphones existed. Before affordable digital cameras with HD video capability existed.
Nowadays even entry-level phones shoot 720P: in 2006 HD cameras were extremely expensive – I took a stereo rig comprised of 2 x Panasonic 540P (weird) cameras for the stereoscopic filming – it’s all I could afford (they were ~$4000 each, I recall). Of course, processing that video took forever. You can now edit 4k video on your phone.
What a difference 10 years makes, technologically speaking.
The videoblog was shot on my trusty Canon Powershot Pro 1 camera – an 8.3 Megapixel device. It could shoot video at 320x240px @15fps for max 3 minutes; 640x320px for ~ 30 seconds per shot, recording 11Kz mono audio.
Basically, the video was pretty dreadful (as you can probably see) – but it was good enough for blogging with – and I managed to post a few videoblogs from Antarctica via satellite, when I was at the bases. But I shot a lot more than I ever uploaded.
So, 10 years later I wondered what I could retrieve from these videos – enough at least to scale them to 640×360 (16:9), some judicious cropping, add some sharpening and colour balance, interpolate the frame rate to 30fps, some fixing (but not much) of the audio – there’s not much that can be done with that audio.
And so here we have it: the digitally-retrieved videoblog of the Voyage of the Vasily Golovnin. A 2006 digital cinema-verité, with all its flaws.
Obviously, it will never be great quality video, but it most certainly is a worthwhile record of a remarkable adventure. I’ll try, over the next few months, to add a new episode here and there – and try and keep them to less than 10 minutes each (there’s more than 600 short videos to edit together, over 2 months of adventuring.)
It’s mainly for posterity and also for the friends I made on the voyage – and for anyone else out there who cares to watch. I hope you enjoy it.