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HDR Lower Cave Carlsbad Caverns | by SamuraiCatJB
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HDR Lower Cave Carlsbad Caverns

Although you may take the Lower Cave tour in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, you may not recognize this cave opening at first glance. But I promise you, you will pass through it on the lower cave tour if you take it. This cave is looking back into the pearl beds from the main lower cave room. This image maximizes the light through a technique known as High Dynamic Range photography. Multiple exposures at various times from 2 seconds to 30 seconds combined to show a long cavern illuminated by dim and bright lights. I did a few more exposures than was recommended by Peter Jones because I wanted to bring out the details in the back of the cave.


Believe it or not, here are the min and max exposures that go into this image:


If you would like to see close to what I have done with your eye, you can try though it will not be the same image (the eye processes things differently than a camera, and more so still than a light compression math technique). Still, if you find the cave from the the trail and your tour can stop for a moment. Look at the cave and close your eyes, count to about 20-30 seconds, then open them. The light will be brighter than this, but you will see some of the color captured here that you don't normally see from the dull gray light you see in the corner.


Enjoy, and happy caving!

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Taken on July 30, 2006