Seduction by illusion

On a road trip to Louisiana a couple of years ago, we stopped in Missouri to see the Meramac caverns. Delightful in the fact that it’s so hammy and touristy and interesting if you like caves. They play up the fact that the James brothers hid out here. In actual fact, Frank & Jesse stopped here for like five minutes on their way to somewhere else, but there’s plenty more history here including Native American use of the caves.

Handheld and resting on a railing so it’s a little soft (I don’t think they let me bring the tripod in unfortunately), but the reflections in this part of Meramac caverns was too gorgeous to pass up. In reality, the water is only 18 inches deep, but the reflection makes it look as if there is an enormous crevasse.

Specific Feedback Requested

Ideas, impressions and improvements welcome.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Handheld as I said and processed in Lr initially for a 16:10 crop and some lens & white balance correction. Also had to up the exposure more than I would have liked resulting in mega noise so I ran it through Topaz DeNoise and it helped a great deal. I tried Sharpen on top, but didn’t like the results so the sharpening is from Lr and is minimal.



This is absolutely surreal! Wow, I keep looking at the big image and trying to get my head around it. I think it’s one of the coolest reflections I have ever seen. :clap:

1 Like

Thanks @David_Bostock - it’s a favorite and it cleaned up well noise-wise. I’ve been hunting my more unusual shots for this week’s theme.

This is really cool, Kris! It’s really hard to tell where the reflection starts and what is actually the cave! It makes it look like one huge cave room! Beautiful colors too. Great capture!

1 Like

Thanks @Vanessa_Hill - it was a mind-bender to just be standing next to it.

1 Like

Cool! My brain keeps trying to tell me it’s one of those crystal-clear springs like in Yellowstone where you’re looking into some unfathomable depth.

1 Like

Kris, the near perfect reflection works very well with the subtle softness along the water’s edge. The angled lead into the distance adds to the sense of an infinite view.

1 Like

Thanks @Diane_Miller & @Mark_Seaver - I waited for the rest of the tour to move on before trying this. I’m used to being the straggler of just about any group I’m part of while carrying a camera.

If anyone gets to Carlsbad Caverns, you can bring a tripod if you do the self-guided tour. I think I’ve posted one shot from my trip there and it’s worth lugging the thing down. I shot at a leisurely pace and could set up and change compositions fairly easily once other people were out of the scene.