This cave was in the middle of a giant palm plantation on the island of Borneo and it was full of bats! When you walked there was an eary crunch on the ground and it was from bugs and bat droppings, gunao. Entering the cave, you notice that its all pitch black and it takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. This shaft of light is one of the first things you notice as its so bright. It reminded me of the shaft of light which shows Indiana the way to the ark in the movie Raiders of the lost ark. Unfortunately there wasn’t a map to treasure on this occasion. Because the guano is worth a lot of money the cave and the bats are protected and only certain people are allowed to collect it. They have devised this system with ropes and counter-weights to climb up to the ceiling of the cave and collect the guano. If you see the path on the left of the image it curved all the way around through the cave and back out again. I was totally surprised to find a small hut where the guys lived just at the base of the arch in the centre of the frame.

Software Used and Process:

This is actually a HDR image shot on my Sony A7r. I had to meticulously place my camera on piece of wood to shot the brackets needed to create this HDR image.

So to edit this image I created a tonemapped image using Photomatix 5.

Photomatix PRO 5– Is a MAC and PC HDR software for creating stunning HDR images. They have a trial, but if you end up buying a copy of Photomatix 5 you can get a 15% Discount with the coupon code LukeZemePhotography

Next up I wanted to give the image a more realistic feel so I used some Luminance mask methods in Adobe Photoshop CC. Which is basically Photoshop CS6 but the new version for users who pay a monthly subscription.

Finally I wanted to add some contrast, tone, glow and colour correction and for this I used On1 Perfect Effects. It allows you to do this from Photoshop and creates a new layer for you so you can mask in and out any elements you like. You could always just launch On1 Perfect Effects from lightroom and even as a standalone program, which means you just launch it from windows or your finder in Mac.

Thanks everyone, if you have any questions you can just leave them below.



Sony A7r


Sony 28-70mm

Focal Length




Shutter Speed

1/20, 1/6 and 0.8 seconds



HDR info

3 bracket HDR with Photomatix Pro


Borneo, Malaysia

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