Author Topic: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave  (Read 15725 times)

chris_overseas

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Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« on: May 12, 2014, 10:06:09 AM »
I recently had the privilege of going on a week long trip to see the biggest cave in the world, Son Doong Cave in Vietnam. ML was invaluable for photography there - dual ISO, auto ETTR, advanced bracketing, RAW histogram, bulb timer and a bunch of other features all had a heavy workout. Here are some of the results:







More photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152349406221760.1073741843.658281759&type=1&l=b27f658a62
and here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152350850636760.1073741844.658281759&type=1&l=485c9cb5b5
5D Mark IV 1.0.4 | 5D Mark III v1.2.3 | 16-35mm f4.0L | 24-105mm f4L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS II | 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L II | 800mm f5.6L | 100mm f2.8L macro | Samyang 14mm f/2.8 | 2 x Yongnuo YN500EX

DavidSh

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 10:17:24 AM »
Beautiful.
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MrTodd

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 12:53:29 AM »
Wow. Those are some photos mate. And that is some cave.

I haven't even tried the ML still image possibilities yet. I'm still in awe of the moving ones at the mo. Without sounding too newbie - how did you capture these wonderful images? (camera settings, lenses)

Cheers
Some Canon stuff and some other stuff too. You can't polish a turd but shit does wipe off.

ted ramasola

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 01:12:52 AM »
Amazing shots there Chris.
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chris_overseas

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 12:23:16 PM »
Thanks very much DavidSh, MrTodd and ted ramasola.

I haven't even tried the ML still image possibilities yet. I'm still in awe of the moving ones at the mo. Without sounding too newbie - how did you capture these wonderful images? (camera settings, lenses)

I'm the opposite of you, I only ever shoot stills and I use ML for that all the time :)

These photos all contain exif data so you can see the various camera settings used if you use something like exiftool or a browser plugin like this one for Chrome:  https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/exif-viewer/mmbhfeiddhndihdjeganjggkmjapkffm.

In terms of lenses, the 16-35L was by far the most useful but I also had with me the 24-105L and 70-200L f/2.8 II (which I hardly ever used and should probably have left behind to reduce the weight I was carrying!). A good tripod was essential, a lot of the exposure times were very long and people in the photos often had to stand still for several seconds or more. I generally used 10x liveview to focus manually because it was often too dark for the normal AF to work reliably and/or it would get confused by the mist. In some cases I'd use auto-ETTR to determine the exposure, sometimes I'd set it manually based on the RAW histogram and zebras (eg if the DR was too great for the sensor and I needed to selectively blow some highlights or sacrifice some shadow detail). I also used dual-ISO and advanced bracketing a fair bit to deal with the sometimes extreme DR, though not for any of the shots shown here. Does that help answer your question?
5D Mark IV 1.0.4 | 5D Mark III v1.2.3 | 16-35mm f4.0L | 24-105mm f4L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS II | 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L II | 800mm f5.6L | 100mm f2.8L macro | Samyang 14mm f/2.8 | 2 x Yongnuo YN500EX

MrTodd

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 10:51:40 AM »

Thanks for taking the time to reply Chris  :)

Tis great to have the opportunity to dirctly learn from the creator. I really like you pics particularly for the fact that they still look "real". A tendency with all this wow technology is to forget about the real purpose and to use stuff for the sake of it. I will investigate the ML stills possibilites further when time allows. I can only hope to acheive something in the same region as your good self.

thanks again

Some Canon stuff and some other stuff too. You can't polish a turd but shit does wipe off.

mjneubrander

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2014, 03:21:10 AM »
Chris,

Ever since the article from National Geographic I have been wanting to see a more down to earth perspective of Son Doong. I like more behind the scenes style imagery but still done with professional equipment and the with same care as the magazine cover. You managed to give me just that with pictures which could still be on the front page and a story behind the scenes too!

Thanks!

engardeknave

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2014, 08:10:01 AM »
I rarely get excited about traveling anywhere, but this looks very worth the trouble. Also not everyone in the world with a camera has been down there, so it's still possible to capture something at least somewhat novel. And indeed these photos are incredibly interesting.

nachordez

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2014, 11:23:43 AM »
After seeing the whole album in FB, what an amazing place, and what an amazing collection of perfect shots! It had to be a real challenge! Congrats, really, and thanks for give me (us) some minutes of real joy watching them!
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chris_overseas

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2014, 02:49:33 PM »
Thanks everyone, you've done a great job of summing up much of how I felt about it too. It was definitely one of the most interesting and worthwhile trips I've been on. Long before I went I was trying hard to find photos and information to see what it would be like from a layman's point of view rather than the NatGeo perspective. It simply didn't exist anywhere so it's nice to now be able to contribute something genuinely new. Of course with a steady stream of people now visiting there are other accounts starting to appear too. Given the incredible photo opportunities, I look forward to seeing what photographers far more capable than myself will produce. Though I'm really happy with my photos, I know I barely scratched the surface of the potential in there.
5D Mark IV 1.0.4 | 5D Mark III v1.2.3 | 16-35mm f4.0L | 24-105mm f4L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS II | 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L II | 800mm f5.6L | 100mm f2.8L macro | Samyang 14mm f/2.8 | 2 x Yongnuo YN500EX

bobbygd

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2014, 01:51:56 PM »
Nice shoot Chris, makes me wonder now a alien is going to pop out of water :D

pointbob

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2014, 12:58:19 AM »
Chris! really sick pics..love them...but not much recipe in the exif - for example this pic below says 1.6 seconds at 5.6F.

but that is not the story - can you fill in exactly what you did here in the post process as well. like it was to a 4 year old. thx.





chris_overseas

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2014, 01:54:20 AM »
Chris! really sick pics..love them...but not much recipe in the exif - for example this pic below says 1.6 seconds at 5.6F.

but that is not the story - can you fill in exactly what you did here in the post process as well. like it was to a 4 year old. thx.

Sure thing. For the shot itself I guess it's obvious I used a tripod, and there was someone standing just out of shot to the right shining a weak torch at the person in the photo. The camera was set to 2-second timer, single point AF (focused on the person), f/5.0, aperture priority, ISO 100. The lens was the Canon 16-35mm f2.8L  at 17mm. Ev was -1/3, I think I decided on that myself based on the RAW histogram rather than use auto-ETTR. Dual-ISO wasn't used for this one.

I generally try to avoid doing too much post processing so (hopefully!) there's less post-processing going on here than you might think. You can see the settings I used in Lightroom below. The first image shows the overall "Basic" settings I changed, the second shows a gradient I added to give the top half of the photo a bit more "pop" - in particular the gradient's clarity slider really helps bring out the detail and contrast on the person and rocks. The only edit I made was to brush out a distracting reflection of the headlamp on the water. I had tried hard to get the reflection right in-camera, but there was water dripping from the ceiling constantly and causing small ripples in the pool. After several failed attempts I gave up on getting the perfect reflection since my poor model had already been standing still for long enough!

The color profile was set to my default "Camera Standard". I didn't modify the tone curve at all, or anything else for that matter other than to add a bit of sharpening.

 

Finally for comparison, here is the photo straight out of camera without any editing applied at all:



Hopefully that explains the whole process but if you have any more questions I'll do my best to answer them.
5D Mark IV 1.0.4 | 5D Mark III v1.2.3 | 16-35mm f4.0L | 24-105mm f4L | 70-200mm f2.8L IS II | 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L II | 800mm f5.6L | 100mm f2.8L macro | Samyang 14mm f/2.8 | 2 x Yongnuo YN500EX

pointbob

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 05:59:43 PM »
Thanks so much awesome.

Mehmet Kozal

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Re: Son Doong - the world's biggest cave
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 07:30:11 PM »
Wow! What a place and fantastic photographs. Great eye and photo processing!
And thanks for the information. Awesome!
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