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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 22 Dec 2013 (Sunday) 08:14
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High(ish) Water Caving

 
rpmaurer
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Dec 22, 2013 08:14 |  #1

Recently took a trip to Mystic Cave near Seneca Rocks in West Virginia. Now, we have had rain for the last three days, we had a good bit of snow before that and it was 65ish degrees when I left the house. The whole drive over I was seeing waterfalls in places that water shouldn't be. Sure enough, he stream in Mystic was high, but not nearly enough to be a problem. In fact, most of the formations were really pretty and dripping. The last photo shows a rimstone pool that is only full in high water.

Enjoy the photos, this was a 5 hour trip (cave is 55F, water... ehh... 40s :) )... hey a photographers gotta do what a photographers gotta do right?

All taken with a Canon T3i using a 10-22mm lens. Flashes used were one 430exII and a Vivitar 285hv thyristor. Headlamps used in some spots.

Enjoy:

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David Crawford climbs down the second waterfall. Front lit with Canon 430 and backlit with the Vivitar.

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David had a wet suit (we didnt), so OF COURSE he took the fun way up. :D
You can see a head lamp in the back... 2sec exposure to get the blurry water. Then a fill flash with the Vivitar.

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David in the lower 3rd waterfall room. To get here required a good 100ft of crawling through passages averaging a foot wide and in places less than three feet tall. Many places had two feet of water in them. Some places got as narrow as 8in. David is holding a single Vivitar flash. Even over the roar of the waterfall, the noises made by us were amazing, "ok... AND... OPEN!" (shutter open on bulb) *CRACK!* (thyristor firing)

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

  
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rpmaurer
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Dec 22, 2013 08:14 |  #2

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One of the smallest spots in the crawls, this right at the beginning (100ft upstream from the waterfall). David had a bit too much fun ("Hmm.... I don't look miserable enough, let me try again.") One single side flash.

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So... when I came here in September that waterfall did NOT exist... Yep, that much water. One back flash.

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Group photo in the big breakdown room at the end. From l-r, Me, Goldie, Andrew, and David. One side flash to light us and the waterfall up, one flash behind us the light up the back side of the room.

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My favorite picture from the trip, and possibly ever. David near rimstone pools only full at high water. Two submerged lamps lit up the water in a 5s exposure. David and the foreground were lit on by manual firings of the flash and thyristor.


Hope you all enjoy these, there are more coming. I have three more trips in just over a week and a half now. Also working on a video of me doing this... Taking more and more video every time I go into a cave!

Ryan

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

  
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rpmaurer
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Dec 22, 2013 08:15 |  #3

As a side note, I know I can only attach 8 images at once. There are seven here and the forum said I had 9. No big deal, I just post them in two groups.... but?


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

  
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Jon ­ Clemens
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Dec 22, 2013 09:51 |  #4

Nicely done. You have taken us where most will not go. What is difficult to convey in a picture is how black it gets without light, and how 'tight' it can feel when wriggling through a small passage. Hope to see more from your next trip.


Canon 7D | 400L | 70-200L | 24-105L | Tokina 11-16
jonclemensphotography.​com

  
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Scrumhalf
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Dec 22, 2013 09:57 |  #5

What Jon said! Great shots of a world very few of us will ever see. I would love to see more if you have them, whether posted here or at an external site.


Sam
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If I don't get the shots I want with the gear I have, the only optics I need to examine is the mirror on the bathroom wall. The root cause will be there.

  
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rpmaurer
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Dec 22, 2013 10:37 |  #6

Thanks! It is a challenge, physically and logistically to do this. A friend of mine said, "You are shooting in a place where everything wants to kill your camera.... and sometimes you." LOL its a lot of fun, and I am lucky to have a group of friends who like to do this with me. It is cold and slow lol

Some of my other work:
https://photography-on-the.net …?t=1341304&high​light=cave
https://photography-on-the.net …?t=1340088&high​light=cave

Ryan


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

  
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rpmaurer
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Dec 22, 2013 10:39 |  #7

Jon, I had my lamp go out a couple times because the batteries were getting low. Yes... it gets VERY black. To make things better, it happened in one of the tight water crawls haha... many would freak out. I just sat there in the cold water, said a couple swear words, and felt around in my case for my spare batteries... :)


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

  
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High(ish) Water Caving
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