Sunday 20 December 2015

A Light Caving Trip in OFD Top Entrance

With the poor weather set to continue we decided that we would have a play with lighting techniques and practice setting up shots in a suitable location. Top Entrance to OFD provided a suitably dry location with the added bonus of several drippy inlets flowing quite nicely to add some atmosphere to the shots. During our six hours underground we were never more than 200 metres from the entrance. The aim of the day was to test out new flashguns, radio triggers, infra red triggers, light output of flashguns verses different types of flashbulbs and also to try out some experimental shots. With a dry location we could practice techniques that we would not otherwise risk on long trips in difficult locations. Some of our output is shown in the gallery below.

Entrance Pitch - Lancaster Hole
Cascades lit by light painting - Photo Mark Burkey

Cascade lit by Flashbulbs
Cascade lit by Flashbulbs - Photo Brendan Marris

Inside Top Entrance - lit with flashguns
Inside Top Entrance - lit with flashguns - Photo Mark Burkey

Cascade lit by Flashguns
Cascade lit by Flashguns - Photo Brendan Marris

Cascade lit by Flashbulb
Cascade lit by Flashbulb - Photo Brendan Marris

Cascade lit by light painting - Photo Brendan Marris

In conclusion Mark's new flashgun the Yongnuo YN560-III is a little more powerful than the Vivitar 285s. It has the benefit of much lower power output and although the infra red slave has poor range, the radio slave easily works underground for the quoted 100 metres in a straight line, although does not work far round corners.
Bulbs were giving much better results than flashguns when shooting falling water, and the much higher power output and all round soft light making them great for use in larger chambers and passage. The AG1B bulbs easily giving four times the light output from a Vivitar 285 with the M3B bulbs giving twice that of the AG1Bs.
Light painting was a revelation too and will come into play in suitable locations. Colour balance from the LED lights is a challenge as is the need for the camera to be tripod mounted and having people keep still in the shots.
We will continue to experiment and work to blend different lighting types in the same shots to enhance the overall lighting.

Present: Mark Burkey, Jess Burkey and Brendan Marris

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