'The best shots have people in them, giving the scale of the place'

An American photographer has edited down some three hours of footage into a stunning six-minute video showcasing the beauty and breath-taking views of the world's largest cave.

Ryan Deboodt, a photographer who specialises in cave, landscape and adventure photography, told The Independent that he first came across Hang Son Doong in an article in National Geographic soon after it was first explored.

While the cave formation was shaped millions of years ago it was only discovered in the early 1990s. It is the largest known cave in the world and is located in Vietnam near to the border with Laos.

Deboodt, who first visited the cave in August 2013, filmed the area around the cave and at two openings on his third visit to the cave. The cave's largest chamber is over three miles long, 660ft high and 490ft wide.

"The first two times were just for photography," he told The Independent via email. "After going to Hang Son Doong twice, I wanted to capture some new perspectives of the cave, especially of the jungles growing in the two dolines."

Deboodt, who is also a climber, said the hardest shots appear near the end of the film (full version below).

A photo posted by Ryan Deboodt (@rdeboodt) on

The aerial shots outside of the second skylight were particularly nerve-wracking: "In order to fly the quadcopter out of the doline, I had to fly it up over 350 metres in full manual mode and when I finally got it out of the doline I lost sight of it and also lost video feed on my monitor, which left me thinking that it was going to be gone forever. I just blindly started bringing it down and eventually the video feed came back and was able to bring it down safely."

Some of the most spectacular shots of the cave show rays from the sun creating a beautiful spotlight across the cave, although Deboodt says that the time-lapse video works best because you see people inside the cave.

"Really all the (best) shots have people in them, giving the scale of the place."

Hang Son Doong from Ryan Deboodt on Vimeo.

Find out more about Ryan Deboodt's photography at ryandeboodt.com, or follow him on Facebook or Instagram.