cave photography for dummies

Techniques and equipment.

Moderator: Moderators

Postby Ronaldo » Oct 7, 2007 10:14 am

I am guessing that with my optio being a very small camera that the intensity of the flash power is concentrated into a very small space, thus making the flash very hot. I will be trying some film sometime to see what happens.
Thanks,
Ronaldo
Ronaldo
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 72
Joined: Aug 28, 2006 8:52 am
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby hoosiercaver1 » May 1, 2008 3:12 pm

Hi I am new to the cave photography too. I was just using a hp photosmart 435 until it finally gave out on me. I totally slimed it in a muddy cave, and the focus doesnt work right anymore. So... Im looking into getting another camera. I wanted some input on what would work good for me. I am on a budget, but I would rather get a camera that will last and do a good job. Are there any point & shoot cameras that give you the flexiblility to adjust flash and exposure time and whatnot. I aslo would love to hear if anyone has suggestions on slave flashes. Im lost when it comes to them. I dont really know what to look for in one. Are there any that you dont have to hot shoe? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
http://www.hoosiercaving.webs.com

We are Halfway There!!!

Slow caving is Safe Caving!!!
User avatar
hoosiercaver1
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 169
Joined: Jan 8, 2008 6:56 pm
Name: John Shultheis
NSS #: 59560
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Eastern Indiana Grotto
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby BrianC » May 1, 2008 3:21 pm

Hi Hossier! I have been pleased with my Cannon A630! It has 15 sec exposure setting, You need this for using external flashes! Any hand held flash will work even if just using the test button. Stronger flashes will get you more distance! I don't think you can get a better camera at the price that you would sacrifice in a cave environment! Have fun! Ps: A pelican case will keep the camera safe, I use bubble wrap as well inside the case to absorb the shocks and the case is waterproof!
User avatar
BrianC
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2061
Joined: Oct 2, 2006 2:34 pm
Location: up on this here mountain
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby Teresa » May 1, 2008 11:07 pm

I've got the Canon G9 with all the goodies I could afford. I have been taking photos *way* beyond my ability and selling them for real money. In cave I usually use it as a point and shoot on full auto, but with an off-camera flash on a cord. Camera has programs, shutter pref, aperture pref, and full manual including manual focus on the LCD -- wish it had a rangefinder for the manual focus, but am pretty good at guesstimating distances.

Took about a hundred pictures last Saturday inside a closed cave we had permission for. It's small, non-DSLR, (no grit) but has extension tube for .75X and 2X digital wide angle/telephoto. Had to get a diffuser for the Quantaray synch flash (no biggie, but without it, the flash tends to burn in square.

Downside of this camera is 15 second exposure max, no B setting and proprietary battery. Not waterproof, but have camera bag, and pelikan for the camera. I've never done much bulb stuff anyway-- no big loss. Just got a car charger for the battery. Lots of non-Canon knockoff accessories, too.

Unless I bust it, I plan to be happy with this for a long time.
Teresa
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1413
Joined: Dec 31, 2005 9:06 pm
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby hoosiercaver1 » May 3, 2008 12:31 pm

Hey, thanks for the advice. My wife has a cannon A570 is and I was playing around with it in my basement. I just now found out how much you can do with it. I like being able to change the exposure. I think I am goin to look into getting a cannon like that. How much difference is there in the megapixel rating. Do you think it would make a big difference in cave pics. Also, has anyone tried those waterproof plastic bag cases on ebay. I was wondering if that might be a good way to keep it out of the elements when Im taking pics.
http://www.hoosiercaving.webs.com

We are Halfway There!!!

Slow caving is Safe Caving!!!
User avatar
hoosiercaver1
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 169
Joined: Jan 8, 2008 6:56 pm
Name: John Shultheis
NSS #: 59560
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Eastern Indiana Grotto
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby BrianC » May 3, 2008 2:13 pm

Hey Hoosier! The mega pixel determines how much information a picture can contain which translates into how far a picture can be blown up and remain clear! 8 mp can be printed to small poster size about 16"x24" sometimes smaller or larger if your exposure is good! Tripods help as well keeping still so no blurs! The bags might work but won't protect from drops or banging around!
User avatar
BrianC
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2061
Joined: Oct 2, 2006 2:34 pm
Location: up on this here mountain
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby hoosiercaver1 » May 4, 2008 8:27 pm

hey, I just got my camera. Its a Canon A540 6MP. It seems alot the one you have brian, but less resolution. I got it for a good deal, so I couldnt pass it up. I couldnt see taking a brand new camera caving. Now I need a new flash to go with it. I read there is a flash from canon that is triggered wirelessly. Has anyone tried these types? I just dont know if it would be the best choice for cave pics. Is there a good, inexpensive flash that would work alot better?
http://www.hoosiercaving.webs.com

We are Halfway There!!!

Slow caving is Safe Caving!!!
User avatar
hoosiercaver1
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 169
Joined: Jan 8, 2008 6:56 pm
Name: John Shultheis
NSS #: 59560
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Eastern Indiana Grotto
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby Ralph E. Powers » May 5, 2008 12:55 pm

hoosiercaver1 wrote:hey, I just got my camera. Its a Canon A540 6MP. It seems alot the one you have brian, but less resolution. I got it for a good deal, so I couldnt pass it up. I couldnt see taking a brand new camera caving. Now I need a new flash to go with it. I read there is a flash from canon that is triggered wirelessly. Has anyone tried these types? I just dont know if it would be the best choice for cave pics. Is there a good, inexpensive flash that would work alot better?

We've learned from photo great Jerry Wallace that having a flash separate from your camera helps improve the quality of the photos quite a bit. So give it a try.
Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible. ~ Reinhold Messner


http://ralph.rigidtech.com/albums.php
User avatar
Ralph E. Powers
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2101
Joined: Sep 10, 2005 5:48 pm
Location: Chattanooga, TN
NSS #: 37616
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby NZcaver » May 6, 2008 10:22 pm

BrianC wrote:The mega pixel determines how much information a picture can contain which translates into how far a picture can be blown up and remain clear! 8 mp can be printed to small poster size about 16"x24" sometimes smaller or larger if your exposure is good!

This is somewhat true, but bear in mind there seems little point in choosing an 8MP camera in the hope of gaining bigger and "better" images if the lens is only a small dot of glass of dubious optical quality. As an example, my 5 year old 5MP Olympus C-5050 gives me far superior results to many of the more compact ~8MP models available today.

Bottom line (at least for me) - more megapixels does not necessarily equal better images, just more memory space taken on your card and computer.

Ralph E. Powers wrote:We've learned from photo great Jerry Wallace that having a flash separate from your camera helps improve the quality of the photos quite a bit. So give it a try.

Good advice.
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6342
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby paul » May 7, 2008 6:51 am

Here's an article with some explanation of how higher numbers of megapixels is not always best.

It used to be said in Hi-Fi (probably still is) that you should spend most of your money on the source (CD Player, Turntable or whatever) and compromise on amplifier and speakers because decent amplifier and speakers with a crap source will only result in crap. With any camera it is the lens which matters the most for image quality - NASA use a 1 megapixel camera with a fantastic lens on their Mars Rover - although they do stitch several photos together afterwards.
paul
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 513
Joined: Dec 9, 2005 7:46 am
Location: Peak District, UK
Name: Paul Lydon
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby irhxcbcziuzxs » Aug 16, 2008 2:58 pm

I have a Canon 30D with a Sigma 30mm 1.4/f fixed lens, that im too scared to bring into a cave.
irhxcbcziuzxs
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 80
Joined: Jul 31, 2008 12:54 am
  

Re: cave photography for dummies

Postby YuccaPatrol » Sep 4, 2008 1:57 am

Last weekend, I got a chance to try out my low budget cave-proof rig.

I am using an old 5 megapixel Olympus Camedia 5000 in a scuba diver's underwater housing to protect it from the cave environment. It is capable of a 15 second exposure. I paid $40 for the camera and $9 for the underwater housing on ebay. Olympus sells their discontinued overstock items from the factory on ebay, so you can get some nice underwater housing very cheap if you are patient and lucky.

For lighting, I am using several small "puck" lights which are basically a very bright LED (CREE XRE-7090 for you flashlight nerds) with no lens or reflector so they give off a very even flood light. I placed them here and there until I was able to light up the area and make some interesting contrasts between dark and light spaces. I ordered them from Hong Kong here: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3297

My wife was with me on only her third caving trip and was a bit antsy to keep moving, so I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to perfect this shot, but here is my first decent shot taken with this setup. I like this shot because I was able to illuminate the bright white formations and still leave enough darkness to make it look like we are in cave that is actually dark and not a brightly lit studio. Now if I could just learn to stand perfectly still for 15 seconds. . . . . .

Image
User avatar
YuccaPatrol
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 399
Joined: Oct 12, 2006 7:54 am
Name: Andrew Mobley
NSS #: 58447
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Huntsville Grotto
  

Previous

Return to Photography and Videography Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users