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My Trips:

My Blogspot Journal
2011 Trip @ Lakeshore Images
2012 Trip @ Lakeshore Images

Visit to the Upper Antelope Canyon, AZ - May 14 & June 11, 2011


Some other pages at this site:

Lower Antelope Canyon AZ
Arches National Park, UT
Bodie Ghost Town, CA
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Canyon de Chelly, AZ
Canyonlands National Park, UT
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Devils Tower National Monument, WY
Glacier National Park, MT
Goblin Valley State Park, UT
Hanging Lake, CO
Kodachrome Basin State Park, UT
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Mono Lake, CA
Mt Rainier National Park, WA
Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
The Grand Tetons National Park, WY
Valley of Fire State Park, NV
Yellowstone National Park, WY

Yosemite National Park, CA

Zion National Park, UT

Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
Caverns of Sonora, TX
Luray Caverns, VA
Jewel & Wind Cave, SD
Mammoth Cave National Park, KY


I've been on a cross country trip and took enough photographs at the Upper Antelope Canyon to devote a page to it. The first group were taken May 14, and the second group was taken on June 11. In both cases I took the 2 hour Photographer's Tour by the Carol Bigthumb tour guides. Although there are other tour companies making both photographer's tours & general 1 hour tours, I was very pleased with both trips with Carol's. If you want more information, more information is available at Navajo Antelope Canyon Tours or by phone at 928 380 1874 or 928 209 7549.

A 2012 Addition - On another cross country trip I stopped in Page for the very different experience of visiting & photographing the Lower Antelope Canyon.

To start, I have to say this has been one of the most interesting subjects I've ever photographed. At first, I wasn't sure I wanted to pay for the guided tour, particularly the photo version, which runs more than the standard tour. For anyone going anywhere near Page, AZ & is a serious photographer, it is a must. First, you get an extra hour in the canyon if you take the photo tour. Second, the guides were very helpful on locations within the canyon, particularly with knowing the time of day to expect sunbeams to light the different parts of the canyon. And, lastly, the canyon is very crowded with many different tours all going on at the same time. The photo tour guides hold up traffic so you can shoot the formations empty of people.

A couple of suggestions for those going:

  1. Bring a plastic bag to slip over your camera between shots - it can be very dusty, particularly when the guides throw sand in the air to highlight the sunbeams.
  2. Along the same lines, a tee shirt or other soft cloth will be useful to keep dust out of your lenses moving parts. Draping it over the camera body & lens will save you from hearing that grinding noise as you focus or zoom!
  3. Bring a tripod, preferably a good one. The guides stack the individuals in the group so you will constantly be changing the length of your legs.
  4. Shoot at a low ISO, but be prepared to switch to as high as your camera will shoot with good quality for those times you must hand hold shots. It is quite dark & you need a fairly small aperture in order to get enough depth of field to capture the formations.
  5. Wear long pants. You will be kneeling on sand & gravel.
  6. Pay attention to the guides - they know what they are talking about.
  7. Along with following the advice of the guides, be sure to shoot your own images. The guides have many standards all of which are wonderful, but there are an infinite number of possibilities in the canyon. Use every opportunity to shoot.
  8. Accept the fact that you are going to burn out some highlights. There is as much as a 10 stop difference between the bright sunlight and the walls of the canyon. Expose for the walls. I shot most of these images using a 6° spot setting on my D700, and placed it on the brightest part of the wall not being struck by direct sunlight.
  9. If you have a choice, go early. During the May tour the canyon was far less crowded than in June; our guide said he preferred the canyon & light in April.

Here are some of the hundreds of photos I took over the 2 hours. They are in no particular order, and include some with people to show the size of the place, one of our guides, one of the group I toured with, and the first one in the last row shows the entrance to the canyon::

Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Upper antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, UT

I went back to Page, Horseshoe Bend & Antelope Canyon in June with friends. If interested, the Horseshoe Bend photos are on the daily trip page. This trip was a bit different. Although we had fewer photographers in our group, the canyon was much more crowded. We also only had one guide. On the May trip another guide was making a full day tour with two individuals. They joined our tour going through the upper canyon, and having two guides made it much easier to keep the other groups out of our photographs. We still had time to shoot the empty canyon, but it was more rushed than before. If you are going to Page just to shoot the canyon, I suggest going early in the year. They are open year round. By the way, the truck that burned on the way into the canyon was one of the 1 hour tours run by another company...

Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ

 

This page is maintained by: vermilye@oswego.edu
Last Update: September 19, 2013