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Cave photography

Discussion in 'Miscellany' started by Rich Gibson, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. No, not spelunking, just nearby Luray Caverns. I wondered what any of you would recommend to best capture the formations and lighting. Of course they use artificial internal illumination but what lenses would you recommend? I'm planning on the 28-70 and 105VR.
  2. sonuj2


    May 11, 2006
    Naperville, IL
    It is a very 'cool' (pun on cool) place to visit and the caves are really beautiful. When I visited the caves last year they did not have any restrictions on tripods but I would atleast carry a monopod and VR lenses as the lighting is poor and VR is a huge help. They also do not have any restrictions on the use of flash. I had my 18-200VR which served me very well .... I wish I had known about tripods as I would have liked to carry atleast a monopod. I would also stick to the back of the group (if you take a guided tour) so you can take your time to shoot and not be bothered by other visitors. Hope this helps
  3. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Your 14-24 will come in handy for some close-up, but get it all kind of shooting.
  4. Rich,

    You might want to dbl-check this before your visit. I seem to recall that there indeed was a restriction on flash photography, at least at the time of my visit a few years ago. I believe that it had something to do with some of the micro-organisms in the caverns.

    Other than that, be sure to wear a jacket, no matter how hot it is outside, as the interior temp is somewhere around 52 degrees as I recall. The caverns are great! Enjoy your visit.
  5. sonuj2


    May 11, 2006
    Naperville, IL
    Bert, I visited last year and used an SB-800 on my camera and nobody said anything to me. I initially did not think flash would be allowed but when I saw a few other folks with 'Pro' gear using their flashes, I used mine too. Maybe they changed their rules from the time you visited. And yes, it is rather cool down there so a light jacket is helpful.
  6. rich
    wider is better than long in the caverns
    we were lucky to shoot there on an anniversary of theirs.... so there were many candles lit in celebration
    a link to our images

    you cannot bring a tripod down into the cavern
    but, there are many places to rest your camera as the crowds clear
    go early... because if it's busy, it'll be hard to get a place to brace yourself to get a relatively long-exposure shot

    it is beautiful down there
    take your time when you look around
    VR will be helpful...
    but the 105VR can work for some shots
    but.... wider is better at LURAY
    good luck
    and.... have a great time

    and i'd avoid using any flash, whether they let you or not (believe me... no one will be happy if you are shooting with a flash)
    because.... you'll lose all ambience of the color down there if you introduce any artificial light at all
    you'll see at my link above... that i did shoot a few with fill flash/no one said anything.
    just to image carol and mackenzie...

    this is 23mm (D200 = 34mm)
    all shot with my 17-55
    you can't get this kind of shot with flash:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  7. Thanks, I didn't think about wide, but now that you mention it, there aren't any symmetrical or straight lines, so the more shapes the merrier. I have the D3 and 14-24 so that should be fast enough for some great shooting. Lovely shots Greg.
  8. you are kind to say
    one thing to remember
    you won't have as much LIGHT as we did.... because the candles were specially placed.... thousands of them... just for their anniversary
    august 17th, i guess

    but... with the D3 (as opposed to my D200) you'll really get to take advantage of its high-ISO capability
    that, combined with YOUR skill.... a wonderful combination
    i can't wait to see the shots
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