TITLE: "Mystery of flooded caves"
This series of pictures was taken during cave diving in Yucatan in 2017-2019. The uniqueness of Mexican Yucatan lies hidden underground. While the surface has no apparent water flows that would support buoying jungle, the whole peninsula is connected through a vast labyrinth of underground rivers lasting for hundreds of kilometers. Each of the caves blooms with various spaces and stalactite decorations. History indicates, this magical water system conceals the secrets of the Mayan culture. In my photos I tried to capture the beauty, diversity and mystery of those hidden places. Because of the pitch black darkness that rules there, taking pictures requires a specific knowledge and skillset to grab the impressiveness of those underground chambers in their entirety. To unlock the scenery in full glamour you need to use specialized diving flashes that need to be installed with great precision. Personally, I combine five flashes: three external and two connected to the camera case.
AUTHOR: Petr Polách (Czech Republic)
I come from the Czech Republic. I have been photographing for a long time and after I started scuba diving in 2003, I took this hobby to the world under the water as well. I have visited different parts of the world, from warm, southern oceans and seas, through geographically moderate places to northern areas with very cold water. In recent years I have been focusing on photography in flooded cave systems in the Yucatan. This Mexican peninsula has the largest flooded cave systems in the world. The landscape of flooded caves is characterized by the unusual beauty of its scenery, stalactite decoration, variety of shapes and sizes of cave spaces. The caves are characterized by an unfavourable situation, namely absolute darkness, which is a great challenge for the photographer - how to light the scene? When photographing "over water", I mainly focus on landscape and street photography.
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