This feature is called Painted Grotto in Carlsbad Caverns National Park. However, on the right side and near the center from top to bottom, one can see a smirking face in the illuminated alcove, so with the face and stage in place, I titled this image “Phantom of the Opera Revealed”. Other viewers have noticed a second face in the bottom right corner as well, perhaps, it’s the phantom’s mask…razor sharp and clear image using large file size…please view large.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is also a World Heritage Site.
It was thrilling to learn one could take a tripod into the Big Room and use multiple flashes to record images. This allowed me to use manual mode on my camera, where I could select the best combination of shutter speed, aperture, and low ISO for the ambient light. It also gave me time to walk around the scene with my external flash to add light where it was needed. For this image, in addition to the light already provided in the cave, I added over eight flashes from my external Canon 580EX flash to the scene. Digital made it possible to check the results and adjust the amount and location of the extra light. This type of photography required a lot of time with the long exposure, noise reduction turned on, multiple takes, and letting other visitors go by, but I enjoyed every second.
Captured using RAW and finished the processing in Photoshop. Canon DSLR camera, Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM lens, tripod with ballhead mount. For discussion of shutter speed, f-stop, available light, and my technique, please visit my profile page…thank you :-)
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