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Thread: Photography in caves

  1. #1
    gregj1763's Avatar
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    Photography in caves

    Just after a little advice on taking photo's in caves.
    My wife and I are going to a place called Marakoopa caves on Saturday and I am keen to try out my new Sony A55 SLT camera.
    I have taken photo's before in caves but never with a dslr. Managed some reasonable shots last time but most were blurry and grainy due to low light.
    Rang the cave people, ( no tripods allowed, bummer). I'm proposing to try to find stable surfaces to brace the camera on and the A55 handles higher iso much better than my A100 so I'm hopeful of some good shots.
    The lenses I have are the standard 18 - 70mm f 5.6, 75 - 300mm f4.5 then I have just bought a Tamron 90mm f 2.8 macro and a 50mm f1.8 sony lens.
    If anyone has any advice I'm all ears.
    Thanks Greg

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Frank Miller

    Re: Photography in caves

    Hi Greg, if tripods are not allowed, then the cave is public and most likely lighted. You could try to find out the type of lighting used to get an appropriate color balance but for the shooting you might want to consider a Gorilla Pod which can be attached to any handrail, post, or stand on almost any uneven surface. Take a look at - http://joby.com/gorillapod.

  3. #3
    gregj1763's Avatar
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    Re: Photography in caves

    Thanks Frank,
    Will look at a gorilla pod as you suggested.
    Thanks for the tip. Greg

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Photography in caves

    I was fortunate in that when I visited Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, tripods were allowed. But, I can see that they could be a safety hazard in some caves.

    Here are a few random ideas...

    1. Don't worry about color temperature because usually the lights in tourist caves are colored anyway...

    2. Use a monopod if allowed if not use a "string pod" (a screw in the camera tripod socket with a string attached and a washer attached at the other end of the string - step on the washer and pull up to put tension on your "string pod")

    3. I believe that the Sony has anti-shake technology in the body. I would definitely use it...

    4. I would shoot at the highest ISO possible in order to get a decently high shutter speed. Don't worry about noise, Better to have noise and a sharp image than to end up with a blurred image due to too slow of a shutter speed...

    5. Use burst mode and shoot in three shot bursts. Often the middle shot is sharper that the first or last.

    6. Use your fastest lens...

  5. #5
    GeorgeM's Avatar
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    George Montgomery

    Re: Photography in caves

    I've had some success using a table top tripod braced against my chest.

  6. #6

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    Re: Photography in caves

    I would only carry my 50. For speed and more of an eye perspective, I also wouldnt want to be fumbling around in a cave changing lenses . Look forward to seeing some results.

  7. #7
    gregj1763's Avatar
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    Re: Photography in caves

    Thanks for the advice guys,
    Think I will be using a small sandbag to sit the camera on or Richards String pod?. Never heard of that before, interesting.
    Will be using my 50 mm lens and I always shoot in raw so WB can be adjusted later.
    Hope to post some good shots for your C&C
    Greg

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