The Dark Room
Updated: Feb 16
I won my first cave photography award when I was barely 21 years old.
The image was nothing short of a masterpiece.
Using a canon 35mm film camera which claimed to be waterproof, I diligently choreographed my Uncle Phil Hendy and my friend Phil Short in all sorts of poses around a cave called Shatter, in Somerset.
Shatter is beautifully decorated and we took a lot of time and effort to make the photos work. Several hours, in fact.
Towards the end of the trip I lay down in a muddy puddle and shot the 27th image on my 24 exposure kodak film... (people under 25, I may have lost you at this stage...)
Worried, I asked everyone to turn their lights off while I fumbled in the dark to rectify the issue.
The issue was not to be rectified.
The camera was empty.
On a positive note, it was the most realistic image anyone had ever shot of a cave.
After all - they are completely dark!
Thus, I was quite surprised and very excited to be asked to give a talk on cave photography at Warminster Camera Club in January.
I was slightly apprehensive as, whilst I do take photos underground and pride myself in the images I take for WetWellies clients, I’m still loathe to call myself a ‘cave photographer’.
Fortunately and with some help from my talented friends, my photography improved a lot and I started to win prizes for it. I learned a lot from Clive Westlake and Mark Burkey, both with very different styles but I often feel like I’m yet to develop my own (no pun intended!)
My good friend and super nice guy, Paul Duckworth, persuaded me along.
I wasn’t sure how to go about this talk, so I decided to make fun of myself and it wasn’t long before I had the audience giggling up their sleeves and I think I enjoyed the talk as much as they did!
It is something I would definitely love to do again.
Here's what they said: The Dark Room - Christine Grosart
Proof I actually won something!