Hi everyone. Well it certainly has been a little while since I have posted a new image. I have been busy with several other projects including a complete revamp of my website which you can see here: roberthclarkphotography.com. I have been shooting new work and only now have I been able to start processing some of these files. So here is a new image from my recent trip to Carlsbad Caverns. This was shot in the caves “Big Room” looking up towards a series of hoodoo like speleothems. Most of the large ones you see in this image are flow stones created from dripping water sources in the cave. It has taken thousands of years for these cave structures to form. I realize that the scale here will be hard to grasp but the distance to the far formations is well over 100 yards which may help in understanding the enormous size of this room.
In all honesty I found this one of the most difficult places to photograph. The lighting within the cave is artificial, complicated, and somewhat omni directional. I had to work pretty hard to create images that “made sense” in terms of how the light fell upon the formations. As I mentioned briefly in the opening paragraph, the sense of scale, or the lack of it also creates some issues. So in composing this image I wanted to feature the large formation but use the well lit speleothem in the right background to add a sense of light and draw the eye towards the large room beyond my position.
The color of the various light sources also created some challenges. I experimented quite a bit with white balance settings in an attempt to adjust for the “wacked out” colors that the camera sensor was picking up. It was all to know avail and in the end I made the decision to process most of the images in black and white. This actually worked out quite well and the lack of color puts more emphasis on the forms and compositions.
This is a three bracket exposure with the files blended in LR 4.2 using Lightroom Enfuse. The blended file was finished in PS 5.5. The file received some extensive contrast curves and dodging and burning.
Nikon D800E and a Tokina 16-28mm, f2.8 lens at 16mm. 3 Image Bracket at ISO 100 at f16 for 8.0 seconds, 15.0 seconds, and 60 seconds.
Thanks for stopping by today.