Wonderland Cave

Last weekend Justin and I had the opportunity to go to Wonderland Cave for a second time, this time with our brand new Platinum E-TTL II external flashes. So brand new that this was really the first outing we’ve had with these puppies, and with any flash unit in general since this was also our first flash purchase. So far we have been really pleased with the results. We originally planned to get a pair of Yongnuo YN-560 II flashes because we obviously liked the price, and everything we’ve heard about Yongnuo has been great but we got the Plantinums because we were able to get them for even cheaper than the Yongnuo because of work accomodations which was really really awesome.

I have no complaints so far with the flash. The only thing I noticed in the cave was that it did take awhile to charge back up to fire so sometimes we’d snap a photo and it wouldn’t go off. I mean there is a bright red indicator letting you know when its ready, we just were having too much fun snapping pics left and right. And the time it took to recharge was due to us literally being in pitch black so we had the flash exposure compensation set pretty high and a 100-200 iso. Other times we have tested the flash in our home it has reloaded much quicker, due to lower FEC and higher isos. We use the Canon Rebel T6S and Canon 70D by the way.

The first time we went to Wonderland Cave we weren’t able to get many pictures since we didn’t own flashes yet. I got the picture below by using the 10 second timer and the light from my headlamp shining on me. You actually couldn’t seen any of my ghost like figure until I got the photo into lightroom and played around with it.

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This area of the cave used to be the setting of devil worshipping back in the 70s, along with lots of drug use. I loved the deep shadows I could get in this area and just the weird vibe the “room” gave off, so for this second trip I planned to go back to this area and try to take some creepy self portraits of me in my wedding dress. Bride on the devil’s alter type of deal. BUT that vision will have to wait for another trip to Wonderland because I forgot how the cave is literally dirt and piles of bat shit are not rare. I don’t mind getting my dress a little worn and dirty, but as you can see from the pictures below it would’ve just been demolished. Preparation is usually my strong point, but for some reason when you are actually in the cave the dirt and bat shit don’t really faze you so I just completely forgot it would even be an issue until I was about to pop on my dress. I really hope we get to go back to Wonderland at least before Spring so that I can pack a sheet along with my dress because I’m dying to see how those photos will turn out. UPDATE: We were just invited to go back to Wonderland this sunday – THE PERFECT VALENTINE’S DAY I AM SO EXCITED. Bring on the weird.

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my aperture wasn’t small enough here to get the entire bat in focus, bad mistake

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We got started with caving back in December when Justin went with my cousin on a LiDAR trip to Big Bat Cave. My cousin is a photographer and a cave cartographer so he knows all the caves around here and beyond and started inviting us to tag along since we are getting into photography. I couldn’t miss a day of work so I didn’t get to go on this trip but below are a few beautiful shots my husband got of the experience.

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I definitely think caving will be a huge hobby for us in 2016. It’s really fun but there is something also peaceful about it. The sounds are different – there are none. And the darkness is different than any darkness I have ever experienced. I’d go every weekend if I could.

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