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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 04 Nov 2013 (Monday) 09:40
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Photos from Caving in WV

 
rpmaurer
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Nov 04, 2013 09:40 |  #1

These are not commercially owned caves. Everything in here wants to kill your stuff, and sometimes you. Half of the challenge is not getting your stuff dirty. The other half is taking the photos in a place where there is ZERO light. Each photo (theres a bunch) has its own description on lighting, etc. C&C welcome, enjoy.

In a way, these are very easy to take, you have complete control over your lighting! Then again, you have to know what you're doing to get these. ;) In my case, it is just luck!

Unless otherwise noted, all were taken with a Canon Rebel T3i and a Canon 10-22mm wide angle lens with 430exII flashes.

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The Window Room, Culverson Creek Cave. One flash on the ground, two flashes from me (silhouetted) and one back flash behind the person in the upper window.

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Rimstone dams and "Meatballs" in Higgenbothams #5 cave. One side flash, wirelessly fired.

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Massive red and pink flowstone in Mystic Cave. One flash held by the model, one fired by me to light her up.

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Massive draperies in Mystic Cave. One fill flash by me, plus a back flash by a helper.

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One of my favorites, in Mystic Cave. One single back flash. This shows the humidity of the cave, it was 55F and that fog is from our bodies! Used a kit 18-55mm.

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Yours truly near a large stalagmite in Mystic Cave. A single flash manually fired by myself.

SX30IS, T3i, 18-55 IS II, 55-250 IS... life is good.

  
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rpmaurer
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Nov 04, 2013 09:40 |  #2

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Entrance to Piercy's Mill Cave. Used a 50mm f1.8.

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Yours truly again, with my beloved pelican case. This waterproof case is practicaly bomb proof. Holds the T3i plus two flashes. Best thing, it floats! Oh and I put backpack straps on it. Also strap my tripods to it! One side flash wirelessly fired.

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Big formations in Piercy's Mill Cave. One fill flash by me, one back flash by a helper.

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More formations in Piercy's Mill Cave. Two slave flashes off to each side.

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Soda straw in Piercy's Mill. Backlit by a head lamp. Used a 50mm f1.8.

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One of the more technical photos. Used a side slave flash. The pool was lit up by waterproof headlamps. The lamps were at a different white balance than the flash. The end result was the pool was a sickly yellow color. So I processed the RAW file at both the flash white balance and the lamps white balanced and composited it.

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Again, same as the last. Probably my favorite photo I have ever taken in a cave. This one used a submerged flash. It was in impromptu thing and the covering on the flash altered its color so it had to be corrected later. This was a HUGE pool. I love this cave, I am going back soon (9 Nov).

SX30IS, T3i, 18-55 IS II, 55-250 IS... life is good.

  
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rpmaurer
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Nov 04, 2013 09:41 |  #3

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The Big Room in Sinnett Thorne Cave. Each person held a flash and manually fired it three times in three different directions staying very still the whole time.

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The Big Room in Sinnett Thorn Cave. This was a test photo to see what the guys lighting would look like. Ended up being one of the best. This room is 900ft long, so it gives you an idea of the scale. The white dots near him are bats.


Taking these photos is a technical, physical, and mental challenge. Mainly mental because I am scared s**tless that I am going to break something! I have three more trips this November.

Again C&C welcome. I have to extend a big thanks to my friends. These photos are not possible by one person. It usually takes 3 to 5 people to do these. Or in the case of the Room in Sinnet Thorn, seven.

Enjoy!

Ryan Maurer

SX30IS, T3i, 18-55 IS II, 55-250 IS... life is good.

  
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ETS
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Nov 04, 2013 11:20 as a reply to  @ rpmaurer's post |  #4

Not something I would want to do. No caves for me! Very nice shots though. Thanks for sharing.


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rpmaurer
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Nov 04, 2013 13:11 as a reply to  @ ETS's post |  #5

Thanks, yes, see how muddy we are. How muddy the case is. Yeah, keep the stuff clean is half of the battle.


SX30IS, T3i, 18-55 IS II, 55-250 IS... life is good.

  
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seres
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Nov 04, 2013 15:05 |  #6

Outstanding photos, Ryan! I especially appreciated your technical notes and equipment how-to’s.

I did some very, VERY limited WV caving in the early 80’s, and WET MUD describes those times perfectly. I used an old ammo case, with the camera and flash mounted solidly inside, and only opened it to shoot. Only 36 exposures, because it was too wet and dirty to change film.

Your pics, with multiple flash and even underwater flash, are light-years ahead of mine. Well done!


—Eric

  
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sparker1
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Nov 04, 2013 15:46 |  #7

Amazing photos, thanks for sharing. I love those of the pools.


Stan (See my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/s​parker1 (external link))

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MalVeauX
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Nov 04, 2013 17:00 |  #8

Heya,

Really great set, thanks for sharing.

Very best,


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rpmaurer
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Nov 04, 2013 18:00 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #9

Thanks guys! Anyone who has gone caving anywhere knows the mess it can be. One of the most satisfying feelings to see the photos work out!


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Crimzon
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Nov 04, 2013 18:02 |  #10

Beautiful work, spelunking is on my must do list.


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Always feel free to provide constructive criticism to any of my pics.

  
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Bianchi
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Nov 05, 2013 00:42 |  #11

Major props for taking on the cave..

Thanks much for posting.. Most enjoyable...!!!


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grahamclarkphoto
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Nov 05, 2013 00:56 |  #12

rpmaurer wrote in post #16423316 (external link)
These are not commercially owned caves. Everything in here wants to kill your stuff, and sometimes you. Half of the challenge is not getting your stuff dirty. The other half is taking the photos in a place where there is ZERO light. Each photo (theres a bunch) has its own description on lighting, etc. C&C welcome, enjoy.

Awesome! Love the detail.


- -
Graham Clark | grahamclarkphoto.com (external link)

  
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adza77
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Nov 05, 2013 01:08 |  #13

Very nice set, and some lovely formations. You've done well to take the shots, and (IMO) get your gear out undamaged & clean too. :)

I've got a soft spot for caves (I'm actually a cave diver, and prefer to be underwater - much less effort :) ), but there's no way I'll take my gear into them (not even the dry section). I was on an expedition a couple of years ago where another friend took his DSLR into the system (dry part, down to the lake where we started our dive). It didn't survive the trip.

Keep up the great work, and thanks for sharing!


Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

  
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rpmaurer
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Nov 05, 2013 14:17 as a reply to  @ adza77's post |  #14

Thanks adza, going back to re-shoot Piercy's Mill (the cave with the big pools) and another cave, Higgenbothams #4 this weekend. Have some good ideas in mind, and I will post them on a new thread :).

You see the big pelican case, right? Whole setup weighs around 15-20lbs. Not bad on your back though.


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Logicus
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Nov 06, 2013 03:26 |  #15

nice shots, I did a similar setup with the same pelican case a couple of years ago.. diggin' the shots of the pools!


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