Mammoth Cave National Park

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PHOTO TIPS: Mammoth Cave is not photographer friendly...or so I read. Before I went to Mammoth, I noticed a lack of decent images of it on the web from people who had been there, and a few complaints about how photographer-unfriendly the place was, especially given they do not allow tripods (with one exception). Well, that's pretty much true (and understandable, really) - though it depends on your guide, and more so the assistant that keeps the mandatory tour-group together from the back end. Whether they are willing to be patient with you for a few seconds is what matters - and a good tip is to try and keep to the front of the pack in between photos. As you can see here, with some patience and skill (like finding places to rest your camera), you can indeed get some keepers.

I will say one thing: Mammoth Cave looks as though a professional photo team was responsible for the lighting. Different-colored LEDs now light the entire public-accessible portions of the cave from end to end, and it's done
very well.

They do offer a photographer's tour in the evenings on Friday, Sat and Sunday. It's the "Focus on Frozen Niagara" tour (not highly publicized that it is for photographers) and they do allow tripods and backpacks, but I would say getting great shots of Frozen Niagara is not easy anyway given the staircases and handrails surrounding the formations (see last photos here).

Finally: If you can take just one tour, make it the four mile, 4.5 hour Grand Avenue tour, hands-down. All photos on this page were taken on the Grand Avenue & River Styx tours, which together encompass the majority of what the public can see (they are two of the three longest tours offered).
A ranger poses along Grand Avenue:
Above the River Styx::
The Natural (Historic) Entrance:
Almost all visible formations in Mammoth are in the Frozen Niagara area (see bottom too):
A ranger gathers lanterns on the River Styx tour:
Near the Snowball Room, also known as the lunchroom:
The majority of all photos, above and below on this page, are along the Grand Avenue tour
The formation known as Frozen Niagara: