Photographing the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico

Fairyland

Fairyland

Carlsbad Caverns is one of over 300 limestone caves in a fossil reef laid down by an inland sea 250 to 280 million years ago.  It includes a large cave chamber, the BIG ROOM, that is almost 4,000 feet long, 625 feet wide, and 255 feet high at its highest point.  Here is what you might see.

Carlsbad Caverns is the third largest chamber in North America and the seventh largest in the world. The cavern is 75 stories down and the Big Room can hold 14 football fields.  Inside, the cave is a constant 58 degrees and 90% humidity.  We walked down the natural entrance into another world of stalagmites and stalactites and all manner of natural formations.  It was an unforgettable experience.

The Natural Entrance

The Natural Entrance

You can walk down the natural entrance which is a two mile hike or so – all down hill for 75 stories, or you can take an elevator.

The Whale's Mouth

The Whale’s Mouth

Tripods are allowed on the main trail that is fairly wide and paved.  Tripods are not allowed on the ranger led guides.

The View from Rock of Ages

The View from Rock of Ages

This should be obvious, but you can not tell by these photos, the cave is very dark.  All of the photos here were shot at 800-1000 ISO, f/16, and shutter speeds of 10-30 seconds.  There is ambient light from many foot lights and spot lights, but a point and shoot with flash will look radically different than these.  Your eyes can not see all of this color – the gold, green, and yellow – but your camera can with a long exposure.

Totem Pole and the Chandelier

Totem Pole and the Chandelier

The Doll House

The Doll House

To see more of our photographs, please go to www.pamphotography.com.

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