One of my colleagues who was very keen with the hike uphill.
The journey began. Through a small opening, we were greeted with a huge chamber lined with stalagtites and stalagmites (hope I spell it right). The condition was surprisingly humid, though. Yellow tungsten lights provided ample lighting into the total darkness.
And all I cared about was to snap some nice cave shots.
This shot was quite breathtaking for me, at least. It showed the size of the cave, with both its depth and length. The sheer volume really showed! The stairs looked like model scales you see in Home Fairs.
To make this shot, I used the Olympus E-3, with the Zuiko Digital ED14-35mm F2.0 SWD lens. The aperture was at F2.0, with ISO at 1600 and shutter speed at 1/5s. This shot was done handheld, thanks to IS within the E-3 to provide the necessary stabilization; thus, sharp image.
The end of the tour was at Stage 2. There were 4 stages, and the RM6 we paid only allowed till here. The last image is actually at the end of our journey, where I snapped my buddy.
As for the final image, a little trick was required to make the portrait work. The exposure was the same as the cave image described. Only that I put a fill-flash on-board the E-3 to provide the necessary luminance. Also, I used the 2nd Curtain flash to ensure the background was captured in its ambient nature. There was one slight problem, there was not enough Depth of Field in this shot to render the background sharp. I might needed to shoot at F2.8 and bumped up to ISO3200 to make this work, though.
And one amazing thing, with such a fast zoom lens, at F2.0, the E-3 was able to focus in the dimmest of darkness.
Kudos to Olympus. This is really a great system, at least for me!!!!