Light means everything in photography. Photographers get up at ungodly hours of the morning to get the "golden hour" pictures and take so many pictures of sunset that they probably have never actually seen one without a camera lens. However I'm starting to learn that the absence of light can be just as beautiful as a classic golden hour photo.
This one has always been a favorite of mine. I took this in Laguna Beach, California in a small ocean cave with a curiously shaped opening. The mountain in the distance is Mt Orizaba on Catalina Island and the frame of the windows is shaped vaguely like the figure-8 shape of the island. “Catalina Cave”
I took this picture during a nearly full moon on Catalina Island off the coast of California. I used to work at a Boy Scout Camp- Camp Emerald Bay which was on the rugged and glorious West End of the island. The waterfront had incredible sunrises and sometimes an incredible moonrise. During this particular shot, I set a camera up on a tower and set an extremely long exposure. The idea was to get a reflection of a Boy Scout with the Scout Salute and reflection. I didn't know it would turn out at the time but its become one of my favorite pictures ever since then.
Same picture... different theme.
Spelunking is a very difficult sport to photograph. Caves are dark, damp and misty- all things that are not conducive to photography. Using a flash will usually just highlight the mist and create too much of a flare. Of course, half of the time, you don’t even really know what’s beyond the thin ray of light created by your headlight.
I took this one while in the dark depths of the aptly named “Catacombs Cave” in Northern California. It is a lava tube that plunges 7,000ft before coming to an abrupt end. Without sounding too self-serving, I liked this photo because it captures a lot of what caving is; even with a powerful headlamp, it only eliminates a fraction of the void. Much of it remains unseen and unknown. I think the picture preserves much of what caving is all about.
Lightening photography is really nothing more than luck and patience and more luck. Obviously there are things you can control such as shutter speed, ISO and having a really sexy D-SLR camera but I do like the portability and ruggedness of a waterproof digital camera. This one was shot on Catalina Island overlooking Doctor’s Cove during a very rare summer thunderstorm. The environment of California rarely produces thunderstorms.