Antelope Canyon is what is called a “slot canyon,” of which there are several in this area. From the top, a slot canyon looks like a narrow crack in the earth, and that is pretty much what it is. From inside, Antelope Canyon is a narrow, twisting pathway in the earth, maybe 40 to 45 feet deep, wide enough in some places for a person to walk, and in other places for two persons to pass each other. That doesn’t sound very exciting. However, sunlight reaches down into Antelope Canyon, striking the swirling colors and shapes of this sandstone wonderland. Photographers love it, and I was no exception.
There are five companies that tour Upper Antelope Canyon, and they will bring upwards of 20 visitors at a time to pass through and back out, taking whatever pictures they can, usually for a period of 60 to 90 minutes. For “professional and experienced amateur photographers,” the company I went with offers a 2½-hour tour. The tour guides, native Navajos, will offer a few suggestions, such as places where shafts of light are to be found, they will toss sand onto a sloping wall so that a time exposure will see a smooth “waterfall” of sand in the sunlight. But that’s all they will do. After that, you’re on your own.
With five groups of visitors at a time, passing each way through the canyon, it is frustrating to try to take certain pictures. You’ll get your tripod set up and the camera not quite focused, and a parade will go by your vantage point, which is almost wide enough. When that parade is through, another parade will come the other direction, each member pausing in front of you long enough to snap their camera at the picture you want. Once they are gone, the sunlight has moved, and your trophy picture has vanished. I frequently resorted to holding the camera by hand, trying to keep it steady for up to three seconds.
Nevertheless, I got some pictures! And I want you to see them. I came back to wife and home with 143 pictures, and the first edit removed 31 of them. Here are a few I think are the best.
There are several more pictures available for you to see at our Web Album. Click on the underlined words. Once into the album, click the text under the single picture. The album will open. Click "Slide Show" and sit back and enjoy. Some of the pictures may take a moment to fully resolve, but resolve they will, even better than New Year's Eve resolutions.
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