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mywildelife February 02, 2018
WOW, this is an amazing shot - otherworldly for sure!! Love the story that goes along with it, extraordinary experience.
RamyDelariarte June 12, 2018
chrisklug August 17, 2018
I love this shot.
ValenkiM Aug 04

Lighting the way

I looked down into the darkness at the entrance
to the cave, a Tsunami of anxiety slammed into
nervous system, It shook me for a moment, I tookRead more
I looked down into the darkness at the entrance
to the cave, a Tsunami of anxiety slammed into
nervous system, It shook me for a moment, I took
a long pause, really took in my surroundings to calm
myself. I was in a jungle of tropical greenery, vines
trees and plants of different beautiful colors and textures,
they were surrounding me and flowing around the entrance
to the cave, it really reminded me of
raiders of the lost ark. The sites and smells calmed me pretty quickly.
I gathered myself, the anticipation of what i was about
to experience was so much greater than my fear of
the dark unknown. I ducked under a large
bolder and I was in. I was surpised at how quickly
it got dark once i entered the cave, I turned my headlamp on
and proceeded into the river and down into the cave. In the distance
i could see the faint light of what i had come so far to see. As i made my
way along it became apparent that i wasn't the only creature that was
enjoying the river. I could see movement in the water in front of me
it looked to be 3 feet long or so, a sizeable width and very dark in color.
I soon realized it was an Eel and that there were a lot of them. At this point
i am only ankle deep in the water, i have no idea what type of eels these are
but i will just try to stay away from them. I continue on getting closer to the light
I stop for a few minutes just to take it in and not rush things. never a good idea to
be in a hurry in a cave and the only thing to hike on is wet rock. I sit down relax
see a few spiders that i have not seen before and promptly get back up and continue
on. As i am nearing my destination the water is getting decidedly deeper, 3/12 feet in places.
I am ducking under stalactites, i feel a good bump on my outer leg, i have to say
it was very jarring i knew what it was, it was the eels, they had come to play. and from this point on
it was happening repeatedly but i was just too damn excited, i trudged on another 50 feet through the river and
i was there,
I had to turn off my head lamp to let my eyes adjust, at first when the light goes off they look like small points
of light coming of the rocks. as my eyes adjusted they came to life and i was in utter astonishment at where i was and what
i was seeing. Strings of light hanging and glowing all around me. It looked like candles had been stuck in the wall every other inch
for as far as i could see. The glow worm, a funny name as it is not a worm at all but a fly larvae. What on any other day i would
probably think wow that sounds kind of disguting i am now sittin in awe of, The cave looks like some kind of H.R. Giger dream land I
am here, i made it, i am about to photograph this otherworldly place. Photographing is not allowed in these caves as
the land owners do not want people coming in and using flashes which can seriously mess up the eco system in the cave. I did my homework
got in touch with the land owners and came to an agreement with them to let me photograph the cave. it has been photographed by a few others,
a person took some photos for their website, national geographic took some and one other photographer that i have been in touch with named josh
took some really great photos as well. Now not using a flash poses some significant photography hurdles when it is pitch black except for the glow worms.
number one composition. if you can't see your surrounding how can you get a good compostion? you take multiple shots moving the camera around until
you find one you like. The only problem with this is it takes a crazy amount of time. Each exposure i shot was anywhere from 3-10 minutes. so if you don't
get a good compostion you just really hope the next one is better. I spent hours in different caves around new zealand and came away with about 40 shots of which
10 were good. it was the most daunting experience i have ever had photographing anything hands down but so, so worth it. I hope you enjoy the pics.
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