Monday, May 21, 2012

Spelonk outing

Last week, Sandra and I accompanied Brandon and Ben to the lighthouse and walk-in caves at the easternmost point of Bonaire.
I shot some hand held, available light, images in the cave with the 14mm wide angle lens that I use for astro-photos.  It turned out to be a good cave lens too!   Now I want to return some time with a tripod.  Then I could stop down the lens a bit for more depth of field, and lower the ISO from the 3200 I was using here, to hopefully reduce the "noise" a bit.  Oh, and there would be fewer "jiggles" with a tripod too.  In this instance I made a few exposures of each scene and picked the clearest one.

The intrepid explorers can be seen in the distance in this shot which provides a feel for the scale of this part of the cave.  That is probably an real Indian inscription at the top right corner.  We're pretty far in and it was actually quite dark.  It's amazing what a camera can eek out of the gloom these days.

Here is what the lighthouse looks like right now.  Brandon is telling Sandra all about how he bonked his head on the very sturdy scaffolding.  To my inexpert eye, the restoration looks like it is almost finished.  I studied the lighthouse at length the following evening (see below) and it really does seem to list slightly to the South.  The "Leaning Lighthouse of Bonaire" - cool.
Here is what the lighthouse looked like the next evening.  I shot almost 500 images over the course of 4 and a half hours, that I plan to assemble into a time lapse movie.  The Southern Cross can be seen to the upper right of the lighthouse keeper's house. Alpha and Beta Centaurus are right above that house.  The tail of Scorpius is right behind the lighthouse itself.  It was kind of hazy along the horizon, but you can see the Milky Way starting to appear just above the haze.  The MW will rise higher during the course of the movie.

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