Prometheus is an underwater photography and videography project by the Orda Cave Underwater Speleology Center. The center is looking into the use of the latest technology in dive lamps to illuminate huge caves for photography, where flash has previously been used.
Orda (Ordinskaya) Cave system is a horizontal gypsum labyrinth located deep within Kazakovskaya Mountain (in Perm, Ural). The largest part of the cave labyrinth is filled with very heavily mineralized water, and the total length of its underwater galleries is about 5km.
What makes the cave unique for photo and video photography is the white color of the gypsum. White gypsum rocks do not absorb light like dark rocks in other caves do, but reflects it, thereby filling photographs with a light of greater intensity. Here, one can find great water visibility year-round, providing a wide range of opportunities for testing various methods of photo and video shooting.
The project idea evolved out of the center’s lengthy experience in shooting stills and video in the cold underwater caves of Russia. Fundamentally, the aim of the project is to support a team of experienced and specifically trained cave divers taking new, high quality shots in the underwater cave, using a lot of powerful modern underwater lighting equipment. The name of the project was inspired by the ancient Greek legend of Prometheus, the divine being who gave fire and knowledge to humanity.
The project has developed into a single entity out of many facets. Complex experiments have been made, with various ideas and methods of cave diving. Having made hundreds of dives in the cave, we were able to see and examine in detail all the different sides of the cave and admire its splendor.
Through the photographs and videos of the project, we proudly present the natural phenomenon that is Russia’s Orda Cave to a wider audience beyond the cave diving and speleology worlds. At the moment, speleologists are interested in our staff, as our photos have been very useful and informative for scientific purposes.
If you are an experienced cave diver and are interested in joining the project, you are welcome to contact us. Learn more at: ordacave.com. ■
Andrey Gorbunov is the director of the Orda Cave Underwater Speleology Center. As an award-winner of the Russian Geographical Society, he is an honored coach of underwater sports and a contributing cave diver and underwater photographer of the Prometheus Project.