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Gold Charm Bracelet With Sea Shells » Images Of Sea Shells

Create Photographic Images in a Sea Cave

Photographing in a sea cave, although not without its safety hazards, provides a challenging and rewarding photography opportunity. An accomplished wilderness photographer, gives basic tips on handling the difficult light, and other issues encountered in a cave between the high and low tide lines.


Personal Safety


In my part of the world, on the Sapphire Coast of NSW, Australia, there's not much in the way of animal life in a sea cave to seriously harm you. It can be pretty scary, though, so you may not wish to go alone.


There could be the odd eel that can give you a nasty bite with it's powerful jaws and razor sharp teeth, but this is unlikely. Crabs will get out of your way, so the worst you'll get from them, unless you grab one, is a fright. The floor of a sea cave will probably be slippery in places, uneven and be home to many sharp and abrasive shellfish. Wear some substantial footwear and beware of brushing hard against the sea cave walls. Be on the lookout for deep holes in the sea cave floor. It wouldn't do to step into a hole of water over your head, camera and all.


Consider photographing in the cave at low tide, around full moon, when there will be king tides. Although the low tide will be lower, the incoming tide will rise faster, so do your safety homework thoroughly.


Be sure you won't be cut off by the rising tide, either in the cave or on the return walk or climb to dry ground.


Level and Quality of the Light


Generally speaking, the light at the sea cave entrance will be bright, high contrast and directional. As you move further into the sea cave, the light level will drop and the light quality will become softer and throw less shadow.


Consider whether you'll need a tripod. You'll probably need some means to steady the camera. A monopod is useful, giving some support while avoiding the hassles created by tripod legs in such a rough situation.


A monopod can rest on the sea cave wall or floor, or else can be rested on your knee when crouching or even tucked down your belt when standing. This will steady the camera enough for an extra couple of stops of light.


Light Temperature - Colour of the Light


Depending on how far you venture into the sea cave for your photographs, the light may be quite cool and will need warming up to bring out the most satisfying colours. In the case of colour film you'll need a warming filter and may need to give your processor special instructions. With a digital camera, simply set the white balance to the shade setting. Try the maximum warming available.


Subject - What to Photograph in a Sea Cave


A huge question! Ultimately it's up to you and determined by what you see. But here are some suggestions to get your imagination going:


  • The walls of the sea cave with their texture, colours, plant and moss growths and shell fish.

  • Colourful, rounded rocks on the sea cave floor.

  • Loose seaweed, carried into the sea cave by the tide.

  • Shapes in the rock of the extremities of the sea cave.

  • The interplay of light and shadow on the sea cave walls, roof and floor, especially if there is an extra opening to let the light in.

  • Looking back at the sea cave mouth, with the abundance of light creating flare and blending with the surrounding dark sea cave walls.

  • Reflections on the water.

  • Can you find someone to model for you in such a place? A girl in a long white dress, perhaps? The girl who would accompany you to a sea cave would indeed be a supermodel so be prepared to pay her well in prints or cash.


Photographic Lighting in a Sea Cave


Use flash with the camera hand held, or light up the interior of the sea cave using a torch, with the camera on a tripod, and a long exposure.


My own preference is to use the available light with a monopod or tripod. A tripod will allow for a large depth of field in low light. The quality of light bouncing off the water and wet walls of the sea cave is a pleasure to use, adding a dimension to your images that can't be achieved in out door landscapes. This is arguably the most gratifying light for illuminating the close-up or distant landscape within a sea cave.


Laurie McArthur is a wilderness landscape photographer based on the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Laurie's sea cave images may be viewed at www.southimage.net/aragunnucamping/seacave01.htm along with other digital landscape images.


Source: www.articletrader.com