Talking about the caving photography, being an amateur, before the trip, I tried to equip myself with only what I really need, to get good photos. And I also checked all warnings, advises from the professionals how to make a good caving photography. The flash I bought didn't help - the incredible enormous space in the cave made my flash look like a thin fragile match.
But facing the reality, when I'm so exhausted, my mind is not working, my gloved hands are so dirty, my arms, my legs muscles are so tense...I forgot everything, I just tried my best to photo only where we had few minutes rest or where with better lighting conditions, before entering into another darkness, another gigantic misty passages.
I gave up to carry by myself the heavy tripod, it's not that heavy in normal conditions but in this circumstances, when I hike, I climb, I try to keep the balance in every step, to thread my way through very narrow passage in the cave, to cross underground river, I feel not in mood of taking any photo, but better taking care of myself not to fall down, not to step on the wrong rock, not to slip in the dark water.
Our first night camping site in Son Doong cave, close to first collapsed doline, after we passed the Hand of Dog. In our team there are two members - myself and Sharika, a very nice Australian, originally from South Africa, we are always the last two in hiking, it happened that sometime two of us, escorted by Úy, a local guy who helped me to carry my camera bag, sitting on the rocks, taking a "long rest", looking around the enormous cave with our headlamp, we jokingly say - what would happen if we get lost or stuck here. We could be the first stalagmite in human shape after another million of years. Not to obsess by this very bad idea, we quickly stand up and move on...
Chris Miller (*)
Being a last member always left far behind, I missed many stories, but in return I had a chance to look around, to admire the extremely enormous cave where the ceiling seems never visible as eternally hidden in the mysterious mist. I'm wondering where I'm - I'm in the unreal world that formed hundreds of millions of years ago, I still can't believe, can't imagine how I get here.
Actually the more I look around, the more time I have to catch my breath and to do some photos, some time with very dirty gloved hands, I feel sorry for my camera, but thinking that I may never come back here, I decided to ask Uy to pass me the camera bag.
Our second night in Son Doong tour but the first night in Son Doong cave, after dinner and hours of dancing, gambling lessons in very dark, misty cave, I just wish to have a very good sleep to save my energy for the next morning trek to the next campsite in Son Doong where it has been considered one of the most beautiful campsites in the world. That will be my next post!
(*) Chris Miller, a professional photographer also went to Son Doong cave right after our group. He took amazing photos in Hang En, Son Doong, you can enjoy his entire album of his adventure here. Thanks Chris for sharing with us your beautiful photos.