Cavers belong among the most curious people of our planet. The fact that they do not consider life situations as problems, but take them as challenges, define their nature. Perhaps this is due to the environment of their activities. After all, caves are a mystery, hidden in the darkness from our eyes. Secrets – everywhere you look.
How to reveal them and how to show them to the world? Photography is one of the essential ways to include each of the attributes of the mysterious dark underground world. Bringing light into the word poetically or illuminating it in the technical sense, is everything but easy. The world of caves is not only dark, but also quite complicated, difficult to move, requiring a coordinated team of experienced cavers.
The photographers of this year‘s contest perfectly demonstrate these ideas with their works. The intersection of various topics is not only the deep connection of the authors to the cave environment, but also to the friends who accompany them on their underground journey. Thanks to them, the photographs literally represent an imaginary voyage on the river Acheron, from which, there is always a return.
In 2022, within the 21st year of the photo contest with the theme of caves, Speleofotografia 2022, 46 photographers from 16 countries presented their works. They entered 264 photographs, again in two categories – Beauty of Caves and Speleomoment. The organizers were again the Slovak Museum of Nature Protection and Speleology, the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic – Slovak Caves Administration and the City of Liptovský Mikuláš.
Although the first cave photography was made already in 19th century, taking the pictures in the underground is still anything but piece of cake. Complex planning and preparation are just the beginning. Taking the pictures underground requires except the special equipment a considerable amount of courage, caving experiences, skills in lighting, but especially well-coordinated team of cavers. Speleophotography means a teamwork. The photographer usually need the assistance in transportation, arranging the scene and lighting. For the moment of pressing the shutter release button usually wait the cavers in the dark of underground sometimes few minutes, another time even a few hours… Let’s flash! So this one is really extraordinary!
Most of the Speleofotografia participants belong among the world elite in caving. Their masterpieces are increasingly moving towards to reproduce the dynamics of speleological activities. All sort of difficulties of discovery and exploration of caves show to us, that caving belongs among the most demanding, but also challenging and stimulating human activities. In addition to theme of abseiling of pits, overcoming of the underground rivers and lakes, or crawling narrow squeezings, the sense of beauty in detail is expressing too. Through the theme of static cave decorations – clusters of crystals, cave pearls, dripstone formations, shiny castles of ice… What surprises are still waiting in cave?
The Speleofotografia is an international competitive exhibition of photos on speleological themes. Its aim is to present uniqueness of underground world, speleologist’s work as well as forms of life in caves. During the all previous years there were presented about 1,500 photos by authors from more than 20 countries around the world. Join us!