PoTM 2011 April: Eldon Hole…




Given that I started climbing with members of the Burnley Caving Club caving as never really been on my radar – until recently that it. Sure, I’d done few trip years ago, one of which was to the bottom of Gapping Gill even, but I’d done nothing recently and nothing in the Peak District.


Then out of the blue I get an invite onto a trip (more anon) that is too good a opportunity to pass up – only thing is, it needed a quick reviver course in technique. As a climbing photog, I’m very familiar with abseiling and jumaring – often in some pretty gnarly places – so I reckoned it would be cool. Eldon Hole, a c.200 foot drop in the hills above Castleton, was the perfect choice. We dropped in twice, the second time down the West Wall, the jug out from which is a c. 150-170 foot free-hanging line – sweet! As I figured, several new tips were collected during the trip which went without a hitch – so to speak.


Obviously, I took a bag of camera kit alone as well; the objective was to grab what was possible as a warm-up to the ‘big trip’ that was to follow. I’ve always used strobes as part of my climbing photography but I knew that this would be a whole different ball game. I didn’t want to be burdened with too much kit but a tripod and three strobes plus a DSLR with two chunks of glass weren’t exactly light!


The shot here is from the bottom of the chamber at Eldon with Tim (lower and right) on the West Wall line and Paul on the East Wall line. The main strobe lit Tim and the two other off-camera units lit the left and right walls, from opposing positions, respectively. Both the off-camera strobes were triggered using the on-board Nikon CLS system with a combination of diffusers and EV compensations to modify the light and direct it where I wanted it.


It was a (very) quick and dirty set-up and I’m quite pleased with the results. I’m working on some ideas for the ‘big trip’ though so watch this space…


Capture Notes:

Nikon D300, 12 - 14 mm AFS f4 @ 12 mm, 1/60 secs @ f4, ISO 800, matrix metering in aperture priority with various EV on ambient and strobe lighting



Eldon Hole, SRT, caving, stobe photography