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Dragon's Lair


Photographed with the cavern's old lighting system


If you ride the elevator down to Carlsbad Caverns instead of walking down, you will miss “The Green Lake Room.” This “room” is one of the many scenic chambers within the 84 major cave complexes of the park. Unlike the many rooms noted for their stalagmites and stalactites, the specific highlight of this chamber is a green-hued pool of water found in a corner of its uppermost floor.

Carlsbad Caverns is a great place for the camera to capture amazing details that normal sight misses. There are no colored lights in Carlsbad Caverns, but the camera is much more sensitive to different types of light bulbs that are used to creatively illuminate. because of this, subtle colors are revealed - just one of photography’s unique attributes. In this image, for example, tungsten bulbs record as oranges and yellows while mercury bulbs show greens and blues. Using a long exposure and a warm camera filter, I was able to capture these dramatic effects in an underground panoramic vista titled “Dragon’s Lair”.


Update: Carlsbad Caverns updated to a new lighting system that uses all the same natural color LED fixtures.  Due to this, the subtle effects of varied color lighting is gone.  I personally enjoyed the old lighting.  The National Park Service explains that the change was to enhance viewing (not), save money and reduce algae growth.  Because of this, this photograph and others in my portfolio are especially valuable to me because they showcase the effects of the old lighting system.

During Ansel Adams documenting of Carlsbad Caverns in 1930’s, he considered his efforts a frustrating failure, and many of his images were personally destroyed by him.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

EPSON Int'l Pano Awards Bronze Award
ViewBug Top Shot Award 2019

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