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Beyond the Basics | 6 Ways to Improve Your Cave Photography

By | Caving, Teaching | No Comments

#1 It’s Not Your Camera The first thing to realize is that when your cave images don’t turn out, it has nothing to do with your camera. It has everything to do with your understanding of light, composition, and how to use the technical components of your camera to creatively communicate your experience underground. A great cave photographer can take a $5000 camera and a $100 camera and create the same amazing shot. If your camera isn’t taking very good pictures it’s probably not a mechanical issue. There is an urban legend out there, a story of painter Pablo Picasso,…

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Nevada Darkness

By | Caving, Nature, Observations | No Comments

There is something about the awesome power of light and it’s ability to pierce through the darkness in the most tender yet dramatic ways. Perhaps it is that power that drives me underground and that motivates me to sit for hours under a starlit sky listening quiet undulations of my own breath, the drone of my heart, the howl of distant and not so distant coyotes, and the gentle yet persistent shush of the wind. Or maybe it’s just insanity. Either way it is a very pleasant place to be.

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Cave Photography: A Short Narrative

By | Caving | No Comments

One thousand feet beneath the surface of the earth I hover in unexplored space. I’m alone and on rope. Beneath me, the chord on which I descend disappears into darkness. I look up and see the same. The only object of familiarity other than my own persona comes from the rock wall 15 feet to my side. All around me the air is saturated with 38 degree moisture. Two years previous I hung in this very place. Not as a photographer, but as an explorer. Our rope was too short and I was left hanging 5 feet from the end…

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Underground Get Away

By | Caving | 2 Comments

This past week my brother and I decided to visit small cave in Utah Valley for a leisurely, half-day photo trip. While stomping around in freezing, vertical, alpine caves that have yet to be seen by human eyes is quite enjoyable at times, it is nice to occasionally visit a good, dry, 50 degree, walking passage cave. Somewhere we can spend a little more time taking pictures, without the worry of hypothermia setting in or cavers getting really ornery about sitting still for long periods of time, just so I can get the perfect shot.

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Lance Dickey rappells down the 350 foot Fantasy Well Pit in Nielson's Well

Nielson’s Well

By | Caving | 2 Comments

For some strange reason I find it incredibly relaxing to attach myself to a rope and glide of into the abyss. Perhaps it is the heightened sense of focus that drowns out all other concerns, or the sound of my own heartbeat echoing through the inner chambers of my head, or the feeling of accomplishment after surviving obstacles that could consume my life in one miscalculated instant. Either way, life seems better when I go underground.

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