Celozaslonske PROSTORSKE FOTOGRAFIJE - FULL SCREEN QTVRs Lighting karst caves with light painting Burger.si je Mojaslovenija.si

The successful cave highlighting with the method of light painting depends of the experience which is growing with the practical ground work.  The very first cave which I tried to lighten with the light painting was Potočka zijalka under the top of Olševa mountain ridge. It was only by the coincidence. I had a torch and that time of 1996 the Sony Mavica digital camera. Indeed I can’t say that it was a successful as the by the nowadays criteria the equipment was unsuitable for that kind of work.

The first and successful work with documentation of subterranean caves was in winter 1999 when I started with the visualization of Križna jama cave. Cavers, light assistants helped with the lighting. I allocated them to the locations around my nodal point that is around my tripod which I set up in the desired location of the cavern which I wanted to document with the 360° Surround Photography. Every caver was equipped with the halogen light with the wide beam, usually with the power of 50 w. I lighten with the another halogen light, following the lens, which I rotated with the steps of 15° up to 60° in the full circle of 360°. The process was extremely slow, electric energy consuming and first of all very pretentious with the logistic.
A year later I started with the project of the visualization of Nova Križna jama. The access into the cave was through the narrow vertical passage and the transport of heavy lead accumulators was very demanding. The available electric power was for the effective light painting only about one hour, what had additionally decreased the efficiency of the work.
The first stage of the visualization of Nova Križna jama wouldn’t be successful as it was without the help of the light assistants and the team work.

I have been looking for the solution with the mobility, especially with the good proportion of illuminating power, weight of the lighting equipment and the time effectiveness. The additional need was also the ability of zoom in and zooms out of the beam, which would allow reaching the part of the cave which was not accessible by foot.
I was testing the Microfire Warrior xenon torch with the power of 35w and 3500 lumens in the summer 2008. Great torch but unfortunately not appropriate for cave lighting as it was not possible to correct the power of the light in close and far distance. The enclosed accumulator gave only a bit less than an hour of effective use.
I bought Led Lenser X21 torch with about 1000 lumen in February 2009. Intensive ground work and testing gave very positive results. The torch is with enough lumens, possibility of zoom in –zoom out of the light beam, it is relatively light (1.5 kg) and with the effective use of over 10 hours with 4 alkalis D type batteries. That means that is appropriate even for the cave expeditions to remote areas where no chance to fill accumulators is.
I tested Led Lenser X21 in huge volume caverns and tunnels as it is Planinska jama from the entrance to the subterranean confluence of Pivka and Rak Rivers which is the greatest subterranean confluence of rivers in Europe, the entrance hall of Križna jama and huge Dolines of Zelške jame. The results were excellent. It is interesting that the result was fine even in Planinska jama which is problematic with the photography due the haze.
The test of robustness and effective time use followed in more extreme conditions. I have got a permission from the Ministry of the environment to enter Nova Križna jama, which is cave with very sensible habitat with the unique ecosystem and is with the highest level of the protection. The entry was allowed only for scientists and researchers with the special permission.
The progress of the technology and the handy use of the X21 were noticeable with the fact that I did in few entries into this cave in February and March 2009, the same or event more work than in previous years of stage entries from 2000-2003.
Last decade wasn’t only with the revolution of digital cameras but also with the technological revolution of effective conversion of electric power into the light.

Planinska jama
Zelške jame
Nova Križna jama
Železna jama


februar - marec 2009

(c) Boštjan Burger, (1993) 1996-2021