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Mad Stalagmite

Mad Stalagmite
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Reekie (LordPotty) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1381 W: 144 N: 3872] (12503)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-03-06
Categories: River
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ-2-S
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/2 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Caves and cave life. [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-03-06 6:36
Viewed: 6119
Points: 15
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
You'll notice the category 'landscapes > river' doesn't quite fit the post, but it's the closest we have at the moment.
We had our trip to Waipuna cave, west of Waitomo, today. I was reminded how difficult cave photography really is. I have a new found respect for my former caving partner, Phil Round, who is one of this countrys finest cave photographers.
With my limited equipment and limited patience, I managed to take a few 'adequate' shots, but nothing approaching the splendour of Phils work.
see: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~photofil/photofil.htm This stalagmite on a low ledge alongside the streamway, shows evidence of minerals that have flowed through into the cave.The brown colouration is most likely due to iron, or iron oxide. Black colours usually come from manganese.
I've talked before about how speleothems (cave formations) are formed, so, very briefly ....
Rainwater passing through leaf litter etc on the ground absorbs a certain amount of carbon dioxide, turning the solution into a weak carbonic acid. This dissolves limestone (calcium carbonate) as it passes through fissures in the rock. On entering the cave, Co2 is released back into the cave atmosphere, and the dissolved limestone solidifies again as calcite crystal.
A drip of water seeping through a pore on the limestone roof will often form a ring of calcite around it. As successive layers are added, the ring will often grow into a long hollow 'straw stalactite'
Water running down the side of straws will widen them, and often the classic pointed shape will begin to form. Where the water trickles down a wall, flowstone formations are often formed.
Water seeping through a sloping cieling will sometimes form 'curtains' or 'shawls'
Where calcium laden water builds up or trickles across a floor, 'gour dams' or 'rimstone pools' may be formed. These can be as small as a millimetre or two high, to dams and pools big enough to swim across.
These are just a few of the most common types of formation. There are many others, some of which little is known about.
Other forms of crystal found in caves are Gypsum (Calcium sulphate), Aragonite, and Selenite.
I called this 'Mad Stalagmite' because the thumbnail image appeared to me somewhat like a crazy cartoon like character with bulging eyes and tongue hanging out.

red45, Janice, theLizardMan, fungiman, NINIX, hummingbird24, touristdidi has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Pesky_Polecat: cave photographyLordPotty 4 03-06 10:07
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-03-06 7:12]

Excellent note, I learned much from it! You are right with you title ;-) The stalagmite looks like invader from space with many mini tentacles . I know this feeling - heat, insect's buzzing and suddenly you enter cave which is calm, cold and full of crystals :-) Thanks for sharing this beauty!

As a photo, this is a little soft in focus, and the lighting is pretty harsh and rather full on the front. It would be fun doing this sort of thing with some slave flash units, and playing with the lighting positions...

Technical quality:****
Wow factor:***

Great shot Steve, and very good note.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-03-06 14:50]

I can see the mad character in this too Steve. Good shot. Very interesting notes - understandable as well.
Did you see how much rain fell in the West Coast y'day? Sure you still want to move down there?

yes thats a good photo was greatful to see it for real as well cool cave thanks for another great trip steve. I got some ok photos but not as good as yours . G

What an interesting formation I feel the lighting is a little flat but I guess the limitation is on only having one flash. Did I mention I lost my first camera in cave. When right off cave photograph after that :)

  • Great 
  • NINIX Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 47 N: 355] (3001)
  • [2005-03-07 4:56]

Hi Steve,

Can you imagion, the nature is building for ages on this sculptures without anybody seeing and then at ones it goes into cyberspace and beats even Rodin.

Good shot although.. maybe you should play a bit with the flash or a second light. That will give even more detail.



PS Did you saw the Hans Adam walking picture? I realy med him.


Incrediably a real work of nature!!! Beautiful!

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