View Full Version : Bears Beware!!!

07-01-2012, 05:18 AM
Not really, but I was in a cave!!! Soo....Ive never actually explored a cave before with high quality camera equipment and ample time to shoot without anyone interfering or telling me to hurry up. I was equipped with two high intensity LED flashlights, a flash, tripod(sometimes useless), and some throw away clothes. I was on a fishing trip with my old man in Tennessee and while we were out I noticed a big black hole in the side of the mountain. The lake was created by a dam and the water levels change drastically, + or - 30 feet every year. With the water level up, this hole was accessible and I told my pops I had to go check it out. It turned out to be a cave!!!! I told him I would had to return to our site and grab my equipment. Having gone spelunking before, this was no sweat. However, there is a thing called TOTAL DARKNESS. That is 0 light, none, nada, zilch. Whatever you can create is what you have. Now add that to the circumstance, and I totally felt like a kid in a candy store. Its harder than you can image, you see all these cool formations, then you have to take a picture of it in an artistic way......yeah right. You try think you might have done a good job. You get out, return to base and start review the pictures, right wehn you feel like Veni, Vidi, Veci!!!! All confidence is destroyed and you run away with your tail in between your legs. Talk about feeling like a beginner. Oh well, this is what it all looked like, be as it may, it was fun while it lasted!

The actual mountain from a distance in which the cave was situated
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7082/7264660808_45bf90038c_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264660808/)
IMGP0414 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264660808/) by jjeling (http://www.flickr.com/people/28054853@N08/), on Flickr

The hole in the side of the mountain.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7239/7264665642_cc024ea27a_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264665642/)
IMGP0357 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264665642/) by jjeling (http://www.flickr.com/people/28054853@N08/), on Flickr

This is the last remaining light. The darkness is the entrance in which you need a flashlight to go any further.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7226/7264697736_a98f015c10_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264697736/)
IMGP0385 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264697736/) by jjeling (http://www.flickr.com/people/28054853@N08/), on Flickr

07-01-2012, 05:24 AM
Entrance as you enter in
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8024/7264733792_42353480cb_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264733792/)
IMGP0391 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264733792/) by jjeling (http://www.flickr.com/people/28054853@N08/), on Flickr

Looking back towards home from a little deeper inside the cave.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7077/7264728094_7b40a6a4a0_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264728094/)
IMGP0516 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264728094/) by jjeling (http://www.flickr.com/people/28054853@N08/), on Flickr

At this point on was on my stomach, my tripod was too large to use, even at its shortest level. It got a little dirty, but thats the price you pay I guess.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7236/7264755056_dae1c80830_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264755056/)
IMGP0469 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264755056/) by jjeling (http://www.flickr.com/people/28054853@N08/), on Flickr

07-01-2012, 05:29 AM
This was the coolest formation I saw in there. I tried my best, but it was difficult.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8025/7264702670_df647ba880_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264702670/)
IMGP0512 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264702670/) by jjeling (http://www.flickr.com/people/28054853@N08/), on Flickr

Towards the entrance of the cave, very little light was required for these to grow apparently.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8010/7264683704_8599f0abe6_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264683704/)
IMGP0525 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264683704/) by jjeling (http://www.flickr.com/people/28054853@N08/), on Flickr

Here you can see where my camera was positioned due to the flash. Its the whole room about 200 feet or so back in, there was a pond that I could not cross without a buddy, oh well. Id post the rest but dont want to dump that many pictures into the thread.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7091/7264651656_0b4e17f7c7_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264651656/)
IMGP0433 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28054853@N08/7264651656/) by jjeling (http://www.flickr.com/people/28054853@N08/), on Flickr

Hope you enjoyed!!

07-01-2012, 07:28 AM
You have a bigger pair than I do!!! I have a pretty dangerous job dealing with deadly chemicals, etc, but I would not be caught dead in something like this.

07-01-2012, 11:19 AM
It was fun. The coolest thing was listening to the water drip into the pool/pond inside. It was so quite and dark, literally the only thing you heard was water dripping down, splashing, and echoing through the cavernous area. There was nothing else to make any noise except for myself.

07-02-2012, 03:44 PM
These are awesome jjeling. Love seeing something so interesting as these, and would be in there right beside you in a heartbeat.
Thanks so much for sharing these interesting, and no doubt, extremely hard to capture shots.

07-02-2012, 07:34 PM
Awesome set!! Nice to have had all that uninterupted time.

07-02-2012, 08:20 PM
When I read your background I wasn't expecting pictures this good. Excellent set under those conditions.

07-03-2012, 04:55 AM
Thanks guys. There were many more that I did not post. It really was painting with light. Most of the time I was just setting the exposure for a certain amount of time, than waving a flashlight around the wall/room until I got it right. I would take a few exposures to get a feel for how the light was reacting to the wall, and would then distribute the light accordingly. Another hard thing to adjust for was the focus. Without any light, theres no auto-focus. Without auto focus, you need two hands. Dont try and use the flash to focus, because then your "night" vision is gone. <-- Lesson learned there. You have to turn on a flashlight at your focal point. Adjust the focus with two hands, set your exposure, then start your exposure. Once you begin your exposure, you can start spreading the light where you need it. It was a fun game honestly. If anyone has the courage to look and enter a cave, I highly recommend it. Just realize that you will want to be careful because if you have to crawl around, you have to protect your camera. My camera pack was covered in mud when I got done. My camera was quite dirty as well. Its a good thing its a sealed camera, otherwise I might not be able to use it anymore.

07-03-2012, 07:30 AM
Thanks for sharing the set and the experience JJ.

Doug L
07-03-2012, 11:58 PM
Wow! You'd never get me in there, especially with a dam nearby - I'd be worried that the water level could rise higher at any moment. And didn't you see the "Do Not Enter" sign? :) Terrific series, though. Amazingly alien formations.