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Anupam Basu
10-09-2008, 02:08 AM
Hi,

Does anyone have any experience photographing within and around the cave of the mounds near Madison? I am planning to visit and am wondering if it would be worthwhile taking a 4x5. Is there a possibility of seeing the caves apart from the hourly guided tours? I couldn't find any information on their site, but if they are only going to herd you around in groups, then there's no point trying to do any photography in peace. How about photography in the surrounding areas?

Any first hand experience and advice would be welcome.

Thanks,
Anupam

Marcust101
10-09-2008, 02:26 AM
You could try asking Mike Johnston, The online Photographer, he lives in that area - he generally answers queries quickly and with helpful information.

regards

Marcus

reellis67
10-09-2008, 08:40 AM
Call in advance and ask about their tripod policy. Most commercial caves that I have visited prohibit tripods because they feel that they can damage the cave, and perhaps that the photographs could be used commercially. If you do get to go, flash bulbs are your wonderful friend when photographing in caves, the more (and larger) the better. Chris Howes' books are a great resource for cave photography if you can find them used (out of print now).

- Randy

bfurner
10-09-2008, 09:31 AM
The area around there is quite attractive and many good landscapes can be found. Lots of rolling hills, farms, animals, trees. Vintage Midwest Americana. I would definitely take the 4x5.

--Brian

epatsellis
10-09-2008, 11:56 AM
Anupam,
give me an idea of when you're going, I may be able to sneak off and come up as well.


erie

eclarke
10-09-2008, 01:51 PM
Call in advance and ask about their tripod policy. Most commercial caves that I have visited prohibit tripods because they feel that they can damage the cave, and perhaps that the photographs could be used commercially. If you do get to go, flash bulbs are your wonderful friend when photographing in caves, the more (and larger) the better. Chris Howes' books are a great resource for cave photography if you can find them used (out of print now).

- Randy

Correct, they really don't want you to touch anything in there and it is done on a well guided tour basis..don't get outside the railings. It is a pretty area around there...Evan Clarke

Will S
10-09-2008, 04:44 PM
I have taken pictures in there. They allow flash photography, but I think a 4x5 would be difficult unless you went Weegee on them. There isn't much room for a tripod in most of it, though there are some spots where you could set it up. You would need to call ahead and ask permission if you needed more than a minute or so for your shot, and if you wanted to photograph outside the context of a tour. Note that they have the cave lit, so if you aren't using flash and you are using color you are at their mercy.

Everytime I've been there they've asked that the group stay together, so it was difficult to spend time photographing. Your best bet is to see if they will let you go down by yourself, but I bet that their insurance won't let them do that. But, it can't hurt to ask. Make sure you tell them you aren't going to sell the pictures for money (or not as is the case.)

Good luck,

Will