Friday 21st November 2008

Show caves



This week we take a look at show caves.

Show caves is the name given to caves that are accessible and open to the public. Usually they have a route around,  safety features, lights both the see where you are going and also eliminate specific features. The sort of caves where potholing enthusiasts venture going down ropes, though water filled passages and squeezing through tiny openings are not show caves. A little more detail on this is covered in Show Caves.

Caves are about the same temperature throughout the year and except for some flooding after heavy rain, can be accessible thought the year. Many are open throughout most of the year.

For the photographer they offer an opportunity but also a challenge. Out of the main tourist season is the best time to visit as you will get more displays with less people included.

Most caves have no natural lighting, so turn out the lights and its pitch black. Turn on the lights and all the magic comes to light. However its a bit more complicated than that, in that most are not illuminated with the equivalent to daylight, and most photography is not done with the colour balance corrected for the light source. If you take correctly colour balanced images using 'PRE' you get accurate colours, but most images and effects in show caves are enhanced by the yellow or the artificial lighting, so this is one case where allowing in effect an error to exist, produces an image similar to what you see, and looks impressive.

We have a

listing of show caves within the UK.

This picture shows the true colour balanced image showing the true colours of the rocks and not affected by artificial lighting. Although correct most show cave pictures are produced like the images in the rotator above.

Autumn Colours Update

Many of the trees have now lost their leaves, but there are still many patches of woodland that provide good photographic opportunities.

As we predicted the colours this year have been better than for a long time, with a lot of impressive colourful displays.

We covered autumn colours in a themed week, 8 weeks ago, time does fly. See recent editions 26th September of articles, lists of places and more.

Advance information:-

Anyone for a super African photographic adventure

A lot of research went into identifying the very best African experience for the photographer, and they decided this was offered by Ghana. Ghana is a country in West Africa, on the coast about half way up. It is English speaking, stable and safe to visit.

Although near the equator, it not excessively hot, about the same as one of the warmest summer days in the UK or in Florida, and a great deal going for it. It has a number of wildlife parks varying from canopy walks through a rainforest to large spaces with all the main animals in Africa present. In total it is about the same area as the UK, but with less than a quarter of the UK population.

It has nearly all the forts and castles in Africa, a picturesque coastline and the world's largest artificial lake. While in the UK we have just over 30 butterflies, Ghana has over a 1000. Colour is everywhere, markets, streets even the large variety of birds come in many colours. While it has history, waterfalls, wildlife, coasts, waterways, and far more to excite the photographer it does not have a star attraction, so has tended to get overlooked by those visiting Africa, so you won't find it in the travel agent brochures.

It is the home of some of the friendliest people on the planet, with different styles from ancient villages to modern cities, and roads that vary from those that look like ours, to tracks you might have only found when getting off-road training.

Camera Images and Photography Skills, the two leading photography training providers in the UK, are exploring the possibility to run some very special 1 to 1 training in Ghana. This coming week their top training consultant is going to be visiting many parts of Ghana, photographing attractions, looking at accommodation, and collecting information to allow these super courses to be put together. They expect to be announcing these before Christmas.

If they are able to do what they hope it will offer photographers the dream opportunity, to gain experience under tuition in a very wide range of photography from coastal and scenic, to people, and wildlife, getting colours right, and coping with the aid of fill-in flash and filters.  Moving around the country is in an air conditioned 4WD to get to some exciting places.

Many of the prices are also attractive, from air fares (its not as far as other destinations in Africa), to accommodation, and eating. For example a private lodge for two by a lake with private beach is about 15 a night.

For the rest of us its shivering time, snow forecast, and depressing news most days, so would you like to have changed places with Keith from Camera Images this coming week and be walking amongst elephants, hanging around with monkeys, and enjoying the company of new friends, with temperatures around 30oC.

So start saving those pennies, and get ready for the announcement on this before Christmas. At the same time we also expect to be able to bring you a highlight report with photographs, from this coming weeks Camera Images expedition.


Time , Time, Time........

As you will notice this week we have only a fraction of what we normally achieve in a week, and no new location guides. We have been doing a lot of preparation for future weeks and with the final preparations for the African expedition, and an error by a bank that wasted several days this week, to work around, time has not allowed us to finalise more pages, and rather than put it up late we felt is was better to run with a smaller edition and try to get back on schedule next week. 

If this is your first visit take a look at a few other weeks from the Recent Editions to get a better idea of what you will normally find here each week.



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