When I started really getting serious about my photography habit I spent a considerable amount of time looking at really fantastic images that other photographers had captured. I did this for inspiration as well as to learn the techniques they used and the locations where they shot. One such location that has always stood out to me is a small little slot canyon in northern Arizona known as Antelope Canyon. Located on Navajo land a little ways to the east of the city of Page, the canyon is broken into 2 main sections known as the lower and upper canyons.
For several years I’ve admired shots from other photographers from both the upper and lower sections of this canyon, and have wanted to visit it myself for quite some time. I finally had the chance as Christine and I took an extra day to drive down to the Grand Canyon and stopped in Page to photograph Horseshoe Bend as well as Antelope Canyon.
There are several companies that run tours through both sections of the canyon, and we opted to visit the lower canyon. There are 2 types of tours: walking tour and photographer’s tour. If you are there to photograph the canyon, I strongly recommend you take advantage of the photographer’s tour. You’ll need a tripod and to know how to use your camera’s manual settings to make the most of the tour. The canyon is a very popular destination, and is going to be full of people but the photo tours are kept to relatively small groups of people and the guides will clear all the other tourists out each chamber or area of the canyon so you can avoid shots full of tourists. Christine opted for the walking tour, and I set off on the photographer’s tour. Our guide did a great job with knowing where the light would be best, and pointing out specific items to photograph along the way. Several of the other people in my group had been on this tour multiple times, and reported that they always find something new and interesting to shoot in the canyon.
This canyon is formed from petrified sandstone that is very red in appearance and full of undulating layers of slightly different shades. The rock structures truly look like something from another planet, and once you are in the deep end of the canyon there is only very diffuse, reflected sunlight that penetrates the depths. Along the way, the light is colored more and more red, as it reflects off the red rocks. The result is that it is very easy to find areas of the canyon that literally look like they are glowing hot coals.
Many many people have waxed poetic about this canyon, and my weakness in writing lends me to believe I should leave the attempts to convey the beauty and awe of this place to someone more capable, but I will say this: Being in this canyon moved me. It is magnificent.
I shot more than a thousand frames in the canyon. Here are just a few of my favorites: