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  1. John Rostron

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    I thought that I would post a larger version of my avatar. This was taken over 40 years ago in Reed's Cave at the Pengelly Cave Centre, Buckfastleigh, Devon. What you see is a helictite. This is a column (where a stalagmite meets a stalactite) that has formed where a drought blows through the cave. The entire helictite is only about 12-15cm high. The Little Man is in a chamber a long way into the cave system. It took us about an hour to reach it. Reed's Cave now has limited access and, as far as I know, there are no published photographs of the Little Man younger than this one. This is a pity, because I would expect that over 40 years or more, the conformation would have changed. As you might guess from its age, it was taken on film, and the original showed noticeable film grain. I used the denoise filters to reduce it, followed by some sharpening. The atmosphere in the cave was damp, and there are several areas of specular reflection from the flash, some of which I have reduced or removed. (One hazard of cave photography is that the power leaks from the electronics. I found that I had to remove the batteries from the flash until the last minute.) John Rostron

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