Ice Cave Adventure

Glacial ice caves are formed by running water melting away bits of the glacier from beneath. The result is fascinating patterns and textures.

We hiked about 4 miles roundtrip, around (and then over) a frozen lake and across sandy, rocky and icy terrain to get to two ice caves that were off the beaten path (and therefore away from the hordes of tourists that go to the more popular ones). As a result, we had each cave all to ourselves (swapping caves with another small tour group after we had taken a ton of photos). There had been extreme winds along the south coast in the days before we went to the caves, so the entrance and openings were all covered in a light coating of volcanic ash. While that reduced bright blue colors on the cave walls, it made for some other interesting color patterns.

Had I not gone on this workshop, I would not have really understood some of the nuances of shooting ice caves. Cameras don’t do a good job of balancing the bright light coming from the entrance and openings with the dark shadows in the darkness of the cave. I learned how to use exposure bracketing to take a series of photos with different exposure times which I then merged in Lightroom. I tried to use a focus stacking technique (focusing on different parts of the image and then combining them) but my camera is an older one that is not well equipped for that. Still, I’d say these aren’t too bad for my first attempt…