|The earth as photographed from the Stratosphere with with a Holga|
Another challenge that had to be overcome was positioning the Spot II satellite GPS tracker. In order for us to get the location on the iPad and follow the payload back to earth, the GPS needed to be pointing up towards the sky. Not a problem while floating up on the helium filled weather balloon or coming down on the parachute, but if the payload landed on its back or nose (as it did in our case) it could be the difference between retrieving it, or losing it.
While discussing this in class one night, a visiting student (I seem to accumulate these...) made the suggestion of placing the GPS unit in a Gyrobowl which is a bowl designed for children to keep their food from flying about. The SPOT II was a shade too big to fit into the bowl, which sent me back down to my workbench after the house was quiet. A glass of wine (or two) later a fully functional Gyrobowl inspired cradle was ready for the GPS and launch.
A million other details later and our Kodak moment was captured, on fresh Portra 400 professional to be exact. I've always liked the combination of slightly overexposed and saturated grain in the Holga. We did pick up quite a bit more radiation fogging on the other side of the ozone layer then we were expecting but it adds to the look and feel of the final image. I love the authenticity it adds. The new Ektar 100, pulled a stop would have probably given us the image with considerably less noticeable fogging but the plastic lens and fine grain film never seemed to look right to me.
So stop by the school if you wanna see the 40 inch print in person and feel free to drop me a line or call if you wanna do a launch yourself. I'll be happy to help however I can. We've learned a lot this semester and I can't tell you how much fun it is. Also, a huge thank you to my students for a fantastic summer term and the best section of this class I've ever led.
Now never say never again and remember the pen story!