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Thread: Advice on taking photos inside Luray Caverns

  1. #1
    New Member
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    Sherrie

    Advice on taking photos inside Luray Caverns

    I am going to Luray Caverns next week and want to get the best photos. Does anyone have any suggestions on settings, I have a Nikon D3000 with both 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses.

    I have taken photos at the cave area at our zoo, either too dark or flash takes away from the beauty of the cave. The settings I used before used AUTO and no flash.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Richard

    Re: Advice on taking photos inside Luray Caverns

    When I visited Carlsbad caverbs in New Mexico; I shot with a Canon 350D using f/5.6 ISO 400 in aperture priority exposure. I used a one stop AEB and single shot mode. This gave me on shot at the meter reading with the additional two shots one stop above and one stop below the meter reading. The nice thing about Canon DSLR cameras is that they will shoot 3-shots in AEB when used in burst mode and then stop shooting until the next time you press the shutter button. Unfortunately, I did not know about this capability until it was too late. The three bracketed shots will allow for HDR compositing.

    I did not have a remote shutter release so, I used the self timer.

    Another problem is that I did not know the default setup of AEB on a Canon DSLR is for the camera to cancel AEB and revert to normal shooting if the camera is shut off for any reason. I shut the camera off to change batteries mid-way through the Caverns and the AEB was cancelled. The second half of my trip ended up with three shots of each image at exactly the same exposure. I have changed that in the menu options so that once I select AEB, it continues until I deselect it.

    Carlsbad Caverns allows the use of tripods (check on your Luray Caverns) and I visited in October so there was not a hoard of tourists.

    Never use flash because that ruins the ambiance created by the Cavern's colored lights (at least in Carlsbad Caverns).

    Bring a small flashlight to monitor your cameras settings.

    I used auto color balance and shot in RAW. Since the various areas are lit by colored lights, color balance goes all to heck anyway and I just adjusted the images to look fairly good on my monitor.

    Advice on taking photos inside Luray Caverns

    Be sure that you bring all the gear you need such as memory cards and batteries. It is "egg on the face time" if you run out of battery power or memory when you are down in the cave.

    The Carlsbad Caverns are one temperature all year long. I think it was 50 degrees F. Check with Luray and dress accordingly.

    I took a long-long time to work my way through the caverns and the only place for refreshments is at the elevators at the start/end of the tour. I wished that I had brought some water.

  3. #3
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    Sherrie

    Re: Advice on taking photos inside Luray Caverns

    Thank you so very much, I hope my photos turn out as beautiful as yours above did.

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