Jun 8, 2009

Carlsbad Caverns

We set a pretty decent pace once we got on the road. Stopping in Fort Stockton overnight wasn't that appealing, so with the family sleeping I just kept driving until we hit Carlsbad. I pulled into a Walmart parking lot at 0230hrs, eased back the seat, cracked the windows and proceeded to pass out. After breakfast we headed to Carlsbad Caverns.

DSC_2791Cave-entrance

We spent most of the morning 750' underground, highly recommended! This is the entrance to the cavern system, you can take an elevator down but we wanted to walk the entire route and I'm glad we did, it adds an extra hour to tour but it's the way to go.

Here's a shot of Doreen and the boys taking a break halfway down.

DSC_2825-halfway-down

Things are massive underground as you can see in this image.

DSC_2834perspective

Eventually we hit the main cave system.

DSC_2851main-cave

DSC_2869boysLearning to shoot the formations underground with my flash and no tripod was a challenge that took quite a few attempts to finally start producing results. As you look at some of these images you have to imagine that it is quite dark down there and the spot lighting they use to highlight certain features of the cave system isn't very bright. So don't use these images as an example of what you will see down there, it's actually quite dark.

I shot in manual mode for pretty much everything and being hand held I couldn't take the shutter down too slow, so it became a balance of enough aperture to get some depth and then using the SB-600 flash and it's angular head abilities to bounce light off walls and formations to fill in shadow and give dimensionality without wiping out the details.

I enjoyed the challenge and started to get decent results towards the end of the trip through the cave system.

If you look real close you can see Doreen's blue vest on the walkway, what an amazing world it is down there, like a natural Disneyland.

DSC_2872another-world

DSC_2888magical

DSC_2853massive

DSC_2896luted

After a few hours it was time to start heading back towards the surface. If you are in New Mexico, you really should go and see this natural wonder.

DSC_2893the-gang

From Carlsbad we headed on to Santa Fe, and I'll try to get a post up in the next day or so on that. This is our third night in Santa Fe and tomorrow we are leaving for Taos, for two or three nights. Keep your eyes peeled for more...

4 comments:

Irene said...

The "Auntie" in me always checks for new photos of the boys... the "Science Teacher" in me, though, loved the cave photos. They are great. It must have been amazing to see.

Thanks!

Keep enjoying your trip home.

Irene

Shaun Taylor said...

It was amazing down there. You would have been in full-on science teacher mode and loving it.

John F said...

Super cool!

Those caverns look much more expansive than the ones I've been in, how was the air quality/breathability down there?

Looking forward to pics form Santa Fe, Duango, BW's roasting shed, and other points of interest.

Shaun Taylor said...

John, the air was perfect and the space is really large so there is no feeling of being too restricted.

If you don't go there you are missing out - huge.