gua niah - niah caves (borneo)

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gua niah - niah caves (borneo)

Trader's Cave - Niah National Park (Borneo).­

This is a tone-mapped HDR obtained from 4 exposures.­ Since the photo had very little color, I decided to process it in black-and-white.­

backlight
cave formations
caving
concretions
gua niah
natural cave
niah caves
speleothems
spelunking
stalactites
traders cave
November 27, 2011

Photos processed with HDR and "tone mapping", e.­g.­ using Photomatix.­

See also related series: TT-HDR - True Tone High Dynamic Range.

I sometimes do HDR processing from a single RAW exposure, since my camera has about 6-stop dynamic range in RAW mode.­ This is the only possible way when shooting a moving subject.­

For those wondering about the technical part, here is some information about my workflow for producing tone-mapped HDR images from a single RAW exposure:

- The RAW image is used to generate 3 images using exposure compensation with Photoshop using Adobe Camera Raw: -2EV, 0EV and +2EV.­ This allows to capture about the entire dynamic range stored in the RAW file.­ You could also use Lightroom to do that too, or any software than can process those RAW files.­ In my case, I need to first convert the RAW files into DNG format (using the standalone Adobe CameraRaw Converter) because the version of Camera Raw that I can use with my Photoshop is not compatible with the RAW format of my (recent) camera.­ But you don't need to go through the DNG step if you have the latest Adobe software.­

- The 3 images (-2EV, 0EV and +2EV) are then merged into one HDR image using Photomatix (you could also use Photoshop to do that).­ This is basically an automatic process with no parameters to adjust.­

- The HDR image is then processed with Tone Mapping to obtain a displayable image.­ I use Photomatix for the tone mapping.­ There are many knobs that can be adjusted, but in general I use the default setting and I increase the color saturation value in the Tone Mapping dialog.­ I then save the resulting tone-mapped image in TIFF format.­

- I then correct Chromatic Aberrations using the free and automatic Photoshop plugin from Photoacute, which works very well most of the times.­

- I then use standard photoshop layers to do the usual final adjustments (Level, Curve, Saturation, Color Balance).­

If you like these photos, don't hesitate to leave a comment or email me.

Photos of the beautiful natural caves in the Niah National Park (Borneo).­

The Great Cave is very large with huge chambers, up to 75m high, and a network of tunnels covering 10 hectares.­ The Niah caves contain archaeological artifacts including boat-shaped coffins, wall paintings and human remains.­

For more information about Niah National Park, read en.­wikipedia.­org/­wiki/­Niah_­National_­Park

Niah can be reached from the town of Miri in the North of Sarawak.­ A visit to the caves is complicated and takes a lot of time, due to the lack of easy transportation to the site.­ Some day I'll write about this adventure, and what I saw in the caves.­

Borneo 464 photos

Photos taken in the Malaysian states of Borneo island (Sarawak and Sabah).­