Below the Surface: Italian spelunker Cesare Mangiagalli's shortened trip left just enough time for one photo worth keeping.
"This photo was taken in Juxtlahuaca cave in Guerrero, Mexico. I had arrived there on a caving expedition in January 2003 after a series of hitches and problems. I had been to Juxtlahuaca before and taken a few photos that I wasn't very satisfied with. This trip I stood looking at the lake in the cave, savoring the sight like a prize after all our troubles."
- Camera: Nikon FT3
- Film: Kodak 100 ASA
- Lens: 24mm
- Shutter speed: N/A
- Aperture: f/4
- Time of day: Midday
"Unfortunately, it wasn't possible for me to explore the whole cave so I took a few photos in the short time I had available. I think that showing the inside of a cave is like opening a chest and revealing the treasure it holds. The difficulties and effort required are known only to other cavers. Water, mud, humidity are the mortal enemies of cameras and flash, but the results are sometimes worth it."
"Shooting in caves is a tough challenge in terms of photographic technique. This photo achieves a good, classic balance of composition: The subject is centrally focused in relation to its environment.
"Both the subject and the inside of the cave are well lit, the details of the rock formations are clearly readable. The mood of the image is somewhat mysteriousthe glow from the headlamp, the light streaming in from beyond the passageway toward the bottom of the cave, the man's ghostly image projecting on the wall of the cave and also the rock walls' features reflecting in the water."
Photo Editor Sabine Meyer