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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Shooting in cave and holiday lights

    Should have posted this days ago, but I procrastinate. 😭

    Iíll be going to Carlsbad Caverns tomorrow, and want to know what setting(s) I should use on my P900.

    The formations are well lit, but tripods are not allowed.

    Thoughts?

    Also, that night Iíll be shooting holiday lights from a boat in a river. So moving (and maybe shaky) but the displays will be fairly extensive. Again, settings?

    Thanks!


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    BF Hammer's Avatar

    Re: Shooting in cave and holiday lights

    My last time in a cave with a camera was over 40 years ago with an old Kodak Brownie and the old-fashioned single-use flash bulbs. 4th grade field trip to Cave of the Mounds (Wisconsin) as I remember. But the flash did work for those photos.

    I do not know the flash photography policy for Carsbad, but it would be worth looking up on the website. Otherwise turn up the ISO and use VR mode. Noise in the photos will be unavoidable though.

    Edit: Flash photography is allowed in the caverns. Limited use of tripods is also allowed (but maybe not for your tour). https://www.nps.gov/cave/planyourvisit/things2know.htm

    • Don't forget your camera! Flash photography in the cave is permitted, just be courteous of the person next to you when you use your flash. Tripods are permitted on the Big Room and Natural Entrance trails, but not on ranger-guided tours.
    • The cavern is dimly lit. You are welcome to bring a flashlight or headlamp, but it is not necessary.
    Last edited by BF Hammer; 12-19-2021 at 09:13 PM. Reason: New information
    Cameras
    D750
    D7000
    D600 (infrared converted)
    Lumix DMC-ZS6
    Nikon Lenses
    24-120mm f/4
    50mm f/1.8G
    70-200mm f/2.8G VR
    28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX
    500mm f/8 reflex
    Other Lenses
    Carl Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
    Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art
    Sigma 150-600mm f/5.6-6.3 C
    Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art DX
    Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD DX

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    nikonpup's Avatar

    Re: Shooting in cave and holiday lights

    ​turn down the lights in your room and see what settings work.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/pups_pleasure/


  4. #4
    Staff
    Admin
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Shooting in cave and holiday lights

    I have no clue what settings are available on a P900. But if the option to shoot RAW exists, I'd do that. I'd use Manual Mode with Auto ISO. Set the shutter to be faster than the length of the lens. For example, if you are shooting with a 50mm lens, then set the shutter to at least 1/60" for FX or 1/125" for DX. Choose an aperture to yield the type of depth of field you desire. Or if the light is pretty low, use a wider aperture. Use VR if it is an option. Use the +/- button to increase or decrease your exposure.

    For the boat, a faster shutter speed would be helpful. If VR is an option, choose the Sport VR instead of the Normal VR as Sport VR is specifically designed when the photographer is moving.

    If Manual Mode isn't an option, then you'd have to work in Aperture or Shutter Priority trying to stay close to the values I mentioned. If you only have Program Modes, sorry I cannot be of help since I've never used those.

    Will they allow a monopod or a small support base such as a PlatyPod? If you use a PlatyPod, then a cable release might be useful if the shutter speed is really slow.
    Cindy - D750, D500, D7200
    My 2021 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Re: Shooting in cave and holiday lights

    Thanks everyone. I've got time so I'll play with stuff. I thought posting here in the P900 group would net me folks who USE that camera.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    BF Hammer's Avatar

    Re: Shooting in cave and holiday lights

    Quote Originally Posted by AmExPatinIndia View Post
    Thanks everyone. I've got time so I'll play with stuff. I thought posting here in the P900 group would net me folks who USE that camera.
    I don't think there is any secret setting that will help in the cave. You have a camera with a small sensor and super-zoom optics for a simulated 2000mm reach. Basically a birdwatcher setup. Big sensors have the advantage in this sort of low-light envirionment. I've seen photos and video of people using P900/P1000 style camera for astrophotography. A lot of magnification but also a lot of noise. You could look in the auto modes for a preset for low-light and see how it does tonight in the dark. Might be an option for the holiday lights at least if it exists. Basic photography principles will still apply here, and letting the built-in flash assist looks like a good option to me. Just be aware that there is a distance limit for the flash, and a pop-up flash tends to be lower power.

    But I wish you good luck and above all just have a good time and don't overthink the photography.
    Last edited by BF Hammer; 12-20-2021 at 03:00 AM.
    Cameras
    D750
    D7000
    D600 (infrared converted)
    Lumix DMC-ZS6
    Nikon Lenses
    24-120mm f/4
    50mm f/1.8G
    70-200mm f/2.8G VR
    28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX
    500mm f/8 reflex
    Other Lenses
    Carl Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon
    Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art
    Sigma 150-600mm f/5.6-6.3 C
    Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art DX
    Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD DX

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    bluzman's Avatar

    Re: Shooting in cave and holiday lights

    Quote Originally Posted by AmExPatinIndia View Post
    Thanks everyone. I've got time so I'll play with stuff. I thought posting here in the P900 group would net me folks who USE that camera.
    Might also post over on this forum.

    https://www.dpreview.com/forums/1007
    D500, D7500, D5600, Z50, DC-FZ1000 II, DMC-FZ300





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