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Cuevas del Drach, Mallorca #2

Limestone forms in the Cuevas del Drach near Porto Christo, Mallorca

The story behind this image

Pushing digital camera technology to the max, photographing in the semi-gloom of underground caves.

This image shows typical limestone formations in Mallorca's Cuevas del Drach, a wonderful sub-terrainean fairyland of grottos, spires and possibly the largest underground lake in the world.

All that is very impressive, but trying to photograph these splendours is fraught with difficulty.

Wtih no flash and no tripods allowed, my little Nikon was pushed to its limits at an ISO of 3200, shooting with as a wide open an aperture as the kit lens would allow.

Another problem I had was the very uneven lighting, with bright hotspots caused by spotlights shining on localised features, so I had to be selective in what I photographed and deliberately under expose shots to prevent excessive burn out.

This shot of spaghetti stalactites and a large column was reasonably lit, but even so I had to do some serious contrast manipulation in Lightroom to bring out detail across the scene.

Image data

Filename - mallorca cuevas del drach 02.jpg

Camera - Nikon D3100

Lens - 18-55mm zoom @ 55mm

Exposure - 1/20 sec @ f5.6, ISO3200

Location - Cuevas del Drach, Mallorca, Spain

This image - 800x533px JPEG

Conversion - Lightroom

Comments - Lens stabilistation and under exposure used to reduce camera movement with hand held photo.