Travel Photo Contest – Robert Coomer
Pondering the Face of Darkness, Candelaria Cave, Guatemala
In 2003 a group of 21 cavers from Cincinnati traveled to Guatemala for 2 weeks of caving and exploration. I was told many times, this was not a photo trip, however I did manage to bring along a Canon G3 (bought just for this trip).I wrapped my camera in ziplock baggies and duct tape to protect it from the elements. The camera bobbed along beside me in a small pelican case as we swam for hours making our way along this river cave system. The caves are old, and have many collapsed skylights, leading to a lot of vegetation and color on the cave walls from the encroaching jungle. While taking a break I saw my chance to capture a few photos. One of my fellow cavers had climbed up on a large boulder to enjoy the serenity and natural beauty of the cave, the warm light spilling in through the skylight, and the sounds, almost like voices of water dripping and flowing. I saw my “image” and sent another caver around to the other side of the rock with a small flash. On a count of three, I opened the shutter for a long exposure as my helper manually fired the flash to add some definition to the lonely figure. I feel this image captured the moment. Overall we had a rough, but incredible trip. I will always remember the massive size and beauty of those caves and the rugged countryside.