Carlsbad Caverns

On a tour of the “King’s Palace” in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, our guide asked how we might describe only in words what we saw. I couldn’t image how I would even start, so here are some of my images – words not necessary.

Lighting presented a problem of accurate representation because there is no natural light down there at all. Unfortunately, the artificial lighting is not daylight balanced. The LED lighting is far superior to the old mixture of lights, but still has a warmer glow to please the eye of visitors. The result alas makes accurate colour rendition in photos very challenging. I have adjusted the white balance to below 3000 K to make my images a more natural reflection of what I saw.

The natural entrance is a giant sinkhole. The switchback trail continues down into the cave over a 2km distance, 230m below the surface. You then enter a series of chambers, the largest being 8.2 acres. That’s the equivalent floor area of St Peter’s in Rome and two and a half Notre Dame cathedrals combined. Nature creates the greatest cathedrals.