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Dragons Teeth

Dragons Teeth
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: 2004-11-29
Categories: River
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ-2-S
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Caves and cave life. [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-12-04 5:52
Viewed: 8900
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a shot taken in the stream passage of Gardners Gut cave at Waitomo.Gardners is the longest cave in the North Island of New Zealand,with well over 20km of passage.At some time or another over the last 25 years,I have managed to explore most of the system.
The main stream passage is around 3 miles long,with numerous tributaries flowing into it at various levels.Extensive dry upper level passages contain marvellous displays of gypsum crystal flowers (calcium sulphate) straw stalactites and helectites (strange formations that twist and curl sideways out of walls).
The streamway has a lot less formation,except around this particular area,but of course,most of the cave life dwells around the water.Accidental visitors like frogs and eels can live for many years off insects and vegetation washed down the river.Other creatures like fresh water crayfish make the stream their home.Glow worms (the larval stage of a fungus gnat,Arachnocampa luminosa)hang from the roof,usually above areas of slower moving water,catching insects in their sticky 'fishing lines' coated with oxalic acid.
The calcite formations you see here are created when water,rich in dissolved limestone (calcium carbonate) seeps into the cave.The cave atmosphere being slightly different to that outside,chemical changes take place that cause the dissolved limestone to crystallize on the roof of the cave,often at first as a small ring around a pore.As years pass,the ring grows successive layers,eventually becoming a hollow straw,through which water continues to seep.
When water also runs down the side of a straw,conical stalactites often begin to form.Below them,conical stalagmites sometimes form from dripping residue.When they meet,they are known as a column or pillar.
Where water trickles down a wall,we find flowstone growing,sometimes sparkling white,other times brown or even black from deposits of iron or manganese oxide.Flowstones on the floor often form little 'rimstone' pools or 'gour dams' often filled with calcite crystal.Later on I'll show close ups of these.
This fine flowstone/stalactitestalagmite/column formation is called The Dragons Teeth for fairly obvious reasons.
I have had to clone out various bright spots here.In order to get the focus to lock on,I had to illuminate the formation with my headlamp which left a very distinct and unnatural looking yellow spot.There were also a couple of muddy handprints on two of the stalagmites in the foreground which I didnt notice till I looked at the shot.
This is my first attempt at cave photography...an extremely hard thing to do well. Its going to take me a while,but eventually I'll get the hang of it.Till then...I hope my retouching isn't too bad.

PDP, red45, extramundi, RAP, mogens-j, coasties, Robbrown, gerhardt, cristie, Luc, Pedda, Andrieux, Alan_Kolnik, cicindela, elizabeth has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To elizabeth: Thanks ElizabethLordPotty 1 06-19 05:10
To Xplorator: Petzl sponsorship...I WISH!LordPotty 1 12-06 08:42
To Robbrown: Cave lifeLordPotty 1 12-05 16:18
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Critiques [Translate]

Looks like you've been in crocodile mouth, very nice shot.
Well done.
Points tomorrow.

Nice post Steve. Good interesting notes.
Thanks for posting

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-12-04 13:13]

You're right Steve, they do look like Dragon's teeth. Very nice work, great to see this type of shot on TN. Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2004-12-04 13:50]

Great jaws :-) Looks like frozen T-Rex. You are lucky that its not alive Steve :-) Please, post more images from caves!

Beautiful morphology shown here, the light is very good to show the details this time, Steve. Great note, the title really fits. I can see the dragon.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-12-04 16:11]

Un lugar de ensueño que imagino debe ser difícil de retratar, aunque en este caso has podido hacerlo con mucha nitidez y belleza.
La Iluminación es acorde para mostrar la imagen correctamente.
Excelente nota tambien.

A dream place that I imagine must be difficult to portray, although in this case you have been able to make it with much clearness and beauty.
The Illumination is agreed to show the image correctly. Excellent note also.

Well seen Steve - looks really like a dragons teeth. Great job.

Hi Steve
Excellent shot. Good light and great detail. Title fits well. I particularly like the lustre from the 'teeth'. Your note is great too. Good job! TFS.

I suppose the site is incredible, this kind of shots are always hard to take, so many details in the same picture, is hard to have a conduct line. Also for the light is not a easy operation.

Well done

Great picture Steve.
I have been in the caves in Nerja
and this looks even more fantastic.
Excellent and informative note
Great work.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-12-04 23:59]

Very well done and I have a very soft spot for caves. This one really appeals to me and you got excellent details on the whites.

Well done and thanks for posting

Steve, Interesting shot..fitting title..It's another place you've shown me that I'd sure like to visit..I'll come back when I have time to read!

The fossilised T.Rex is amazing, this is by far the best cave image yet posted, the burned out spots are well handled and the shadows normally seen in spelio shots seem well under control. DOF is front to back and the lighting slides nicley into the distance at the back of the cave.
My wife Terry says to say also brilliant shot and she hope to see some cave pearls and other more unusual formations.
PS do these caves hold cave specific life you could share with us.

Oh yeah Steve , now we talking , were you hoping for Petzl sponsorship while ,,chasing the dragon,, ... hehehe ... sweet, dude but a again take two, three acetilene lamps with you in the cave/grotto and place them strategically and guaranteed you will be blown away by the results of that image, my big brother is a pro in caving photography !

YESS! Steve, ever since you joined I heard you are a caver I wondered when are we going to see this type of shot. It very nice. And very interesting. 20Km of tunnels... WOW! Love to go in there. The note is top-notch as well. You did really, really great here.

Belle composition.
La lumière est bonne.
Le nom est bien choisi.
Le texte est très explicatif.

Quand on pense que ces stalagtites et stalagmites ont mis plusieurs siècles à se créer ! On pourrait même les appeler dents de dinosaures !

WOW! amazing place :) Hope to go someday in a cave like that!

Very interesting post.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2004-12-06 8:14]

A great post, Steve: picture and note.
A unique one!

Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Pedda Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 41 W: 1 N: 247] (1287)
  • [2004-12-16 5:05]

I agre with "netfalls" about the crocodile mouth. Great picture and note

amazing this cave! It really look likes a reptil mouth!
Good natos too, when I read I imagine me in your place! that seens a great adventure!

Beautiful Looks like a Jaw

Beautyfull photo.

Good shot of this formation. Seems to be hard to get a natural color image in a cave(google imahges of the huge Luray Caverns on the web, for example - but, after all, what is "natural color" in a place that would be pitch black if not lit by artificail light?

Hello Steve!
What a nice picture of amazing cave! :) Stalactites and stalagmites are really look as teeth!
Good POV and DOF, interesting composition.
TFS and best regards,

Hi Steve
I was looking through your themes page and came across this image and thought WOW! Those formations are so cool and you've captured them so well. I don't know how you lit it but it is very well done and there is so much detail. This is going on my list of favourites! Well done.

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