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Cave Photography

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are based out of Hamilton Valley Field Station, located on the border of Mammoth Cave National Park near Bowling Green, Kentucky. See Logistics page for more information.


July 18-23, 2022

Cave Photography is a field and lab course that introduces students to the basics of cave photography. Class discussions will include tools, methods, theories, digital workflow, data management, and metadata. Field trips to caves will allow students the opportunity to create their own cave photographs using a variety of techniques. Image labs will be conducted later in the day where we review, edit, share, and critique our photographs. This course is available as a non-credit workshop. Participants must be in good physical condition to negotiate the cave passages and surface hikes which are a major component of this course.

Appropriate tools for the class include: digital camera body (must be able to photography in manual mode), lens(es) for the camera body (ideally one wide-angle, and one suitable for macro), tripod, one or more external flashes (optional triggers and transmitters), pelican cases or hard boxes to transport delicate equipment, and a laptop with Photoshop or Lightroom. Students are required to have basic field equipment, including sturdy boots. Necessary gear for caving trips will be provided. However, if you bring your own personal cave gear, proper White Nose Syndrome decontamination procedures are required of all gear; please do not bring dirty gear.

INSTRUCTOR: mr. chuck sutherland


Chuck Sutherland has been caving for 15 years, and has all the while been bringing his camera along for the adventure. His photography has been published in international media like ABC, BBC, and the Discovery Channel. His work appears in academic journals, music videos, news outlets, books, magazines, and websites. Professionally he works as Director of Informatics with the Upper Cumberland Development District where he manages spatial and a spatial data resources for two regional government agencies. He is also an adjunct geology professor at Tennessee Technological University.


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