Using Flares In Caves?

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Using Flares In Caves?

Postby rickster » Apr 17, 2010 6:25 pm

I know Im going to get stoned to death for this one, so let me be the first to say,, I understand they do this in hollywood movies, I also know you could scar the rocks damaging the cave and going against everything a caver belives in.I also am aware that the smell would be bad..etc etc, in tight passages.Now that all thats aside, I did try to search for info on the boards about them first and couldnt find a thread informative enough.Even google returned little results other than countless discussions about "The Descent".
Now, my question is,, would it be acceptable to use in a LARGE High ceiling cavern for the purpose of Photography, if you didnt hold the flare to the rocks.. had enough space to negate the fumes, and carried the spent flar out with you after?Also is flare smoke toxic?Has anyone here EVER? used a flare in a cave for ANYTHING.?
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Re: Using Flares In Caves?

Postby NZcaver » Apr 17, 2010 6:43 pm

There are more efficient ways of lighting cave photos, although they'll likely cost you more money. As well as electronic flashguns and remotes, some folks still use the old one-shot flashbulbs for lighting up big chambers. Or you could persuade a multitude of your friends to buy nice bright LED lights and bring them along. :big grin: I've never used a flare for illuminating a photo, so I'm not sure if you'll get the effect that you want. :shrug:

PS - I moved this discussion to the photography and videography forum.
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Re: Using Flares In Caves?

Postby MUD » Apr 17, 2010 6:57 pm

Hey there Rick! :waving:

PLEASE don't use one of them nasty things in a cave! I will be more than happy to help ya with some flashes for photos. In fact, you should come along on the next photo trip I do. You can learn alot while helping to light the cave. I can always use some sherpas! :laughing:
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Re: Using Flares In Caves?

Postby rickster » Apr 17, 2010 8:10 pm

Ok Mud.
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Re: Using Flares In Caves?

Postby wyandottecaver » Apr 18, 2010 7:13 pm

rick,

flares were used in both Wyandotte and Mammoth Caves for photography and "entertainment" purposes. Wyandotte has several postcards of its "monument mountain" lit this way. Mammoth had a silent movie where they used flares. This was generally before the 1960's I think.

The biggest issue was that the smoke was toxic. thus you had to snap the pics then run fer the daylight. They DID work well for lighting purposes, but the side effects would be considered too destructive today.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: Using Flares In Caves?

Postby KENTO » Apr 19, 2010 12:23 pm

The British cavers in the 1970's made use of a white Magnesium ( reloadable/reuseable) flare device called a Diprodoton Converter. There was an article in Caving Intenational magazine , I remember. You can sometimes still find issues of this for sale on a limited basis from Emily , Bob&Bob , etc. It was the only viable option back then , the superflash bulb people had yet to birth those monster bulbs and strobe flash/LED people hadn't yet to come on the scene either , obviously.
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