Author Topic: My Favourite Photographs  (Read 2789 times)

Online The Old Ruminator

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My Favourite Photographs
« on: March 15, 2019, 04:17:32 pm »
Umm well maybe I will carry this topic on for a while. This week I added my 4,000th cave photograph to the files. 55 years of taking cave photographs in my own humble and amateur way. Ooo you wont get all 4,000 ( maybe ) . One or two now and then and why I like them.

Took this one of Nigel Cox working in the dig to The Frozen Deep. I love caving portraiture  specially when its unposed.



This one was posed. An idea by the subject Peter Glanvill and a homage to the film " Close Encounters of the Third Kind ". Drone in a cave but I would rather not say which one.



Special to me. My son was over from Australia so I took him to see The Frozen Deep. I had no idea this quick image would work. Olympus Live Composite Mode more by luck than judgement.



Same trip. He sat on the rock and I did another LCM image. I could have asked him to pose but he looked happy where he was.



Comments welcome but no moaning about high res images and mobile phones. Shall I continue ?

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 06:51:53 pm »
Oh a couple more then --

Like me Pete Rose is in his 70's now. This is him in the 1960's. Still has tatty old kit.



My brother in Withyhill. The stal is long gone so is his hair.



Shatter Cave 1969 with one of the discoverers Ray Saxton. From the first set of photos taken in the cave. 50th anniversary of discovery in April and I am still caving. ( though the photos have not improved much ). Copy from slide so not as good as original. Nearly all our earlier photos were done by bulb flash on Kodak Ektachrome slide film.



49 years later. Its all digital now. Shatter Cave by Olympus Live Composite Mode.


Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 11:33:30 am »
One of my nicer finds. Green Lake Chamber in Withyhill.  Pete Rose and I knocked a bit off the wall just enough to get in there. Now many years later I cant get in. Last visit was for this image two or three years ago. That knobbly bit of stal and rock we hit sticks right into my chest. Oh I have been tempted over the years. Note to new explorers. Make it big enough when you find it so you can still get in there 40 years later .


Offline Laurie

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 11:46:40 am »
Luvit.  :clap2:
MNRC

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 03:38:32 pm »
Thanks Laurie. Specially for you.

After nearly 200 trips there I suppose it is fair to say that I have more Reservoir Hole photos than anyone else.  So I had this idea for a centerpiece at the Mendip exhibition which might now not take place. I constructed this collage. About 99 images. They all had to be horizontal so some are vertical format cropped. Some are from the first trip to the Frozen Deep. Some cannot be repeated now we have conservation tapes laid. ( the larger image is one of those ).  Getting the printing done was difficult but I found a company in Berlin that gave a perfect result. Next I had to find a framer with a dry mounting press big enough to mount the print which came from Germany rolled up. Another inch bigger and the collage would not have fitted. That framer was in Minehead, Somerset. The actual framing was done in Taunton using special plastic rather than glass. The total cost was around £250. Width of frame 1200 mm. All worth it to me I suppose. Looks nice on the wall at home. Not a brilliant image here due to reflection from the plastic.


Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2019, 03:54:01 pm »
Nigel and I wanted an Upper Flood trip to Neverland. The excellent Capn Chris took us down carefully explaining the best way to get though the awkward bits. The stipulation was no camera as it would be a long trip and old Nigel and I are not as able as we used to be. Well I managed to hide the old TG2 and a small flash with a Firefly slave about my person. First problem occurred when the good Capn asked us to remove our boots for Neverland. I forgot to take booties and had socks only. Much hopping about wittering. I saw the shot. Nigel grabbed the slave flash and stood where you see him. I had said nothing about the shot. It was all done in seconds but got on the cover of the club magazine so that's the story.


Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2019, 04:47:35 pm »
When we were young and bold. Here Trevor Knief and Pete Rose in the Time Machine in Daren Cilau. This was my second trip and designed as a photo trip hoping to illuminate the big passage here. Maybe that photo later.  My first trip in DC was with Trevor shortly after the cave was greatly extended. Trevor was a super fit police outward bound instructor then and feared nothing. Now in his later 70's and not really fit enough for caving anymore. Time makes fools of us all. We did not have a clue about the route but made the sump and out in 13 hours. We took in four Nife cells. Leaving two in the new bit of cave. I was totally knackered at the end of it.



Little Neath River Cave lit by one massive flash bulb that nearly blew the subjects head off. 1968.



Nine Barrow Swallet 1967 or 68.Cant recall who with. The cave was discovered an 1967 and has been closed to cavers for many years. ( Reopened yet ? )



The rather dead dog. Slaughter Stream Cave. So sad to see his little paw prints in the mud.



Synchronized bulb flash ( one, two, three -- FIRE ! ) somewhere deep in Agen Allwedd. So easy now with slaves and digital cameras.



Never forgetting fun and folk. Peter Glanvill's 60th surprise birthday party in Swildons. He arrived in a stretched limo.



The " Little Ballerina " Urchin Oxbow, Daren Cilau. She is tucked away at floor level so easily missed. Oh I could get a better photo today but that will never happen.



" The Forbidden Zone " Upper Frozen Deep and the 35m high fault wall looking up to an unentered balcony. Note the huge tipped up stal boss maybe from cryogenic fracturing.



Has caving ever made you cry ? I did when I got home from that fantastic discovery. We were all speechless walking into there. You dream of such things but to experience it is remarkable. 3,000 square metres of floor. More than any other chamber in the UK and with wonderful formations. What you need to remember is to take the photos whilst you can. Once the tapes are laid thats it.












Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2019, 07:47:46 pm »
The most difficult area in cave photography is caver portraits. Firstly most cavers hate a camera shoved in their face and certainly wont pose. But that is the secret. To show character the image must be done quickly or that vacant bored expression with the rictus grin results.  So to save some embarrassment first names only.

Chris.



Nat.





Chris.



Martyn



Tony



My brother Simon.



Rob



Peter. One really cannot fail with him.






As Mr Bercow says " The eyes have it ".

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 11:31:09 am »
Travels with the big tin box and bulb flashguns.

Dont expect miracles. Like me the images are old and scanned from slides.

Travertine Passage , Ogof Craig a Ffynnon.



Fourth Choke Ogof CAF



Jigsaw Passage Daren Cilau.



Monster flashbulb in The Time Machine.



Little Neath River Cave.



Spring Mine, Box workings.



Not many cave photographers were attempting big spaces back in the 60's and 70's. You had to have a large number of people with bulb flash guns using open shutter on the camera then apply the BLF rule. ( Bracket like f--- ). Work out exposure manually then use a stop either side. Of course you could not verify the results until the slides came back from Boots. We found a source of monster bulbs and used those with minimal people. The biggest normal flash bulbs were PF 5's. Often the slides were tram- lined by dust or somebody moved during the exposure. Again you never knew until later and if it was the Time Machine you could not summon up the effort to repeat the process carrying large ammo boxes and spare Nife cells for longer trips. Needless to say willing subjects were hard to find and usually the trip was the priority with any resulting photos as a bonus.
Today its so easy. I can take 150 digital images, see them in the cave then come home on the pc to edit them down to 30 or so. If you like its BLF by another means. Of course we had no way of editing images anyway. You got what you got and if only I could have envisioned Photoshop all those years later.  Anything I did not like was thrown out.
Camera technology has come so far now that anyone with minimal kit and experience can get better photos than these. What is odd is that you see so few on here. I think in a way you reveal something of your inner self on posts like this. I usually have a tinge of regret in doing such things. Shall I carry on --- ? Hopefully, yes, as my mission is to try to encourage other cavers to share their  work however humble they think it might be. In social media like Facebook it comes and goes in a flash ( pun intended ) to be lost in a mass of billions of posts worldwide.. Oh and don't forget the photo resolution is reduced.
Thinking of camera technology moving forward the current " New Scientist "( March 16th 2019 ) is looking at mobile phone camera technology based on AI. Cameras that edit pictures in real time. The conclusion is that the next decade will see major advances in computational photography driven ever onward by mobile phone research . There was a time when all we wanted was to capture what the eye could see but we shall travel way beyond that now partly thanks to space technology.  350 million users use                    " beautification " apps. AI powered photo editing that can software analyse and adjust faces in real time. Almost a must now for selfies on social media. Is any of this art or creativity ? Optimum exposure can be created within the camera too. So what has this to do with cave photography ? Well everything really as the hobby gets more accessible to cavers. We may soon reach the point where a monkey can take a great photo.
Maybe some more later as I waiver between enthusiasm and the ever present impulse to lie low.

Offline Laurie

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2019, 01:44:18 pm »
I tend to wait until the water resurfaces these days...

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Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2019, 07:11:34 pm »
Tuesday is digging day so I am worn out . Just a few then.

 "Enter The Dragon" Ogof CAF. You may have seen him before. Well I was walking past and saw him and just had to go back for this image. That horrible beady eye --



Same Cave. " The Pagoda ".



Daren Cilau. " The Antlers ".



Ogof Draenen. Indiana Highway.



Traverse OFD.



Daren Cilau. Urchin Oxbow.



Ahhhh. A warm bath is calling -----

.


Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2019, 03:45:45 pm »
Mucking about with the photos.

I just use the latest Photoshop. My images are not RAW. You can still do a lot though in under five minutes which is all I tend to do.

Original Image.



Image copped and quckly cloned out the shadow. Yes it could have been done better but I did say 5 minutes.



Auto haze filter is useful but does not work every time.







Colour correction 2nd image. Underwater shot.





Clone brush and haze filter 2nd image.






Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2019, 03:59:30 pm »
& etcetera.

Garlands Pot, Giants Hole.



The Duck. Stoke Lane Slocker. Far worse than the sump.



Daren Cilau.



OFD.



Tynings Barrow, Mendip



Oooops. Getting carried away again ---

Offline thomasr

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2019, 09:00:59 pm »
Many thanks  for all your imput :)

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2019, 08:08:10 am »
A single thanks means so much. So while Photobucket is behaving a few more then I might even get dressed.

Collages are fun.









Reflections. Somewhere I went in Western Australia where the limestone is only a million years old.


Offline PeteHall

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2019, 03:48:05 pm »
 I particularly like your Stoke Lane picture, really captures the atmosphere in that duck.

I am also pleased to see that the water level is about 6" lower than last time I was there. I wasn't sure if I was just being soft or if it really was as wet as I thought  ;D
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2019, 06:10:47 pm »
In the blink of an eye.

First descent of The Frozen Deep Pitch. Somebody shouted " below ". Got it. Cropped version.



Was following her out when she turned and did this. Nothing was said.



He sneezed. I clicked.



Perfect timing.



He got in a tangle.



Sometimes you have to think is this right ? She is in shock with a broken arm. Possibly overstepping the bounds of intrusiveness. Ultimately she did not mind. I took her flowers in hospital.



Then it becomes your turn. Broken arm and shock but I give him my camera for this.  I have a plate in my arm now.



What next ? More big spaces from years ago perhaps.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2019, 06:16:18 pm »
The WA cave is Lake Cave down in the Margaret River area. The entrance doline is bigger than the cave. Supposedly the cave formation in the photo is one of the heavier unsupported hanging structures you can see underground. I met an old patient of mine running the cafe there years ago!

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2019, 07:12:35 pm »
Thanks Peter. My son has moved down there now so there will be more visits. I shall be over there next month. There is a local club but I shall wait and see what to do when I get there.

https://caversleeuwin.com/

Offline mrodoc

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2019, 07:52:10 pm »
If you want the local contacts I have their emails.

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2019, 08:04:41 pm »
Big with bulbs. Pre digital images of big spaces.

Time Machine. Daren Cilau.



Agen Allwedd

Barons Chamber.











Ogof Craig a Fynnon



The Cathedral, Box Mine



Daren Cilau.



Jigsaw.



Epocalypse  Way.



Lamb and Fox Chamber, Draenen.



Lancaster Hole.




Like I said you can knock spots off these now with digital. Some of these old slides have deteriorated and lost contrast. I suppose we were lucky to get anything acceptable back then. Same with the kit. Home made wet suits. Evosik and taped seams. Crikey what a job . Nife or Edison Cells usually unreliable as the cables deteriorated without you knowing. Pre wet suit it was begging for oily boiler suits at the local garage as they lasted longer. Ladders for all of the pitches. Ey up. Six in the bed and bucket and chucket at the bottom of the garden. All character building.

Offline Fulk

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2019, 08:53:35 am »
Good morning, TOR, I took the liberty of dragging your Lancaster Hole picture onto my desktop and 'tweaking' it up a bit; note absence of scratches. I think it's an improvement; I guess the question is 'Can you be bothered to work on all your old snaps, and why?

Cheers, Fulk.


Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2019, 09:10:00 am »
Hi Fulk. Quite a differance. I wont say that I cannot be bothered but as you see my time spent editing is fairly minimal. I have quite a few hobbies other than caving so would rather be doing things like that  than sit at a computer. I did much of that sort of thing when I had a broken arm. There is then the question about how true you want to be with your subject. Not in cases like this so much as work there is remedial. I see modern photos on Facebook in all sorts of garish modes using a multidue of apps. ( horrble abbreviation ). Some current caving images too are stretched beyond reality with editing, stitching and Lord knows what. I still prefer to work on what I call the " moment " so the image is how I experienced it at the time. As we saw earlier about computational in camera editing it might be that we move even further from the " truth ". The New Scientist article was called      " Dont Believe Your Eyes ". Despite cave photography become ever more easy it does not mean that we shall see more of it here.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 09:23:42 am by The Old Ruminator »

Offline Fulk

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2019, 09:20:49 am »
I don't normally spend long on editing pictures, but I do find that the 'highlights/shadows' is often a very good quick fix.

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: My Favourite Photographs
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2019, 09:45:54 am »
Of course the remedial editing is only part of the game. The slides have to be scanned and the final image uploaded here by my preferred route through Photobucket now costing me £100 pa. Photobucket is still " edgy " and I have to refresh the page quite often then get irritable and pack it in.

So today I am out for a nice long walk. Time for a couple more I suppose.


Eclectic.

Father and son at Windy Junction Ogof Draenen.



Same father as above ( Trevor Knief ) near Valentine's Chamber Daren Cilau.



Manor Farm two weeks after discovery ( I was there then ) with Ted Popham.



Agen Allwedd near Cascade Passage.



Off now for a long walk -------