Caves and Lighting

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by nyyphan, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. nyyphan

    nyyphan TPF Noob!

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    A few weeks ago a friend and I found a series of caves and we're wanting to go back before the snow hits and explore the inside a little more. I don't think headlamps and flashlights will give the needed light to take a decent picture of the inside. Has anyone run into this type of issue and how did you set up your ligthing? I've got a Minolta Maxxium5 AF 35mm camera if that makes any difference.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    You'll be wanting a tripod and probably a lantern I would think. Basically, as there's not going to be much light, you won't be able to hand-hold the camera as the exposure will be quite long.

    Stick the camera on the tripod, and put the lantern behind both of them and then use the self timer to set the shot off.

    Rob
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Depending on how dark it is, you could even try 'painting' the cave with light. Set the camera on a tripod with a long shutter speed. Then use a flash light or something...and paint the different areas with light. You don't have to do it all at once...but you do have to have enough time to get all the areas painted. I've never tried this, but it sounds like it could be fun.

    Also, flash might be useful...but the key to great shots would be to get the flash as far off of the camera as possible. Caves will have great texture on the walls etc. and that texture won't come out very well if the flash is on the camera. Side lighting will really bring that texture out.
     
  4. Mihai

    Mihai TPF Noob!

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    If you are shooting Canon and you have a *lot* of money (Nikon may have that too), you can buy a bunch of flashes that are remotely controled from a single transmitter (that is on the camera). Then set them up any way you want to cover your field of view and fire them at the same time.

    But I do agree, that, if it works, Mike's idea is very cool! The main worry there would be not to overlap the coverage too much (those portions would be overexposed if you do). I think that I'd try Mike's idea first even if I'd have a lot of money :).

    M.
     
  5. boris152

    boris152 TPF Noob!

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    Mike's idea with a flash would work. You don't get to use any automatic controls, just hand hold the flash and hit the test button in manual mode. Pretty much any flash can do this, including *very inexpensive* manual flashes. Like Mike said, moving the flash way away from the camera is key, but easy because you have all the time in the world with a long exposure. Then just paint away with bursts of flash. With a film camera, it'll be a good idea to try it quite a few times a couple different ways, since you obviously won't know quite what you have till you develope. :) Good luck, and please post the results!
     
  6. EBphotography

    EBphotography TPF Junkie!

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    Good suggestions up above! Can't wait to see photos of this cave! Whered you find it, like in the middle of the woods.
     
  7. Mihai

    Mihai TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, please post them!
    M.
     
  8. nyyphan

    nyyphan TPF Noob!

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    Last summer I was working for the county GPS-ing roads for the 911 system and the guy I was with is one of those "old-timers" who know a ton about the area. He showed me some caves, gated by the Forest Service but if you ask nicely, they will give you a key. Some friends and I went up there and they're ok but we had heard rumors of a cave with an underground river. After about a year of research we found the caves on a series of maps. All I want to say right now is the caves are about 45 miles from civilization, yet you can drive almost to the front entrance. We did quite a bit of exploring in two days and found the caves went deeper than anyone had told us. I doubt we'll make it back up there this year since I woke up this morning and saw snow in the mountains, but sometime next summer I'll be sure and post pictures.

    Thanks for all the advice and tips! I hope they work!
     

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