Road Trip #15 - Antelope Canyon (52)
|We have reached the final destination of the Road Trip - Upper Antelope Canyon at Page Arizon. The best is last in this case. |
This is an amazing place to visit and a privilage to photograph. The only way to get in to the Upper Canyon is make a reservation with one of the many Navajo run tours. Most have specific tours for photographers. The groups are smaller (maximum of 12), time in the canyon is longer (2 1/2 hours) and are at a timne when the lighting is at it's height. The day we were there our group was the only group in the canyon for over an hour. In a perfect world, I would have gone in two days in a row because, in my case, I would have had the experience of adjusting to the minimal lighting situations the second day. Upon the arrival inside the canyon the guide directed us to the chamber with this shaft of light - there is only about 30 minutes when these conditions are optimal. We shot one at a time.
I am posting a "workshop" of the entrance to the canyon. The Wikipedia information will help as well.
This initial RAW image was shot at 3 sec, f-14, 18mm and prosessed in Nikon Capture NX - set white and black points and a minimal sharpening framed and sized.
Wikipedia: Antelope Canyon is a popular location for photographers and sightseers, and a source of tourism business for the Navajo Nation. It has been accessible by permit only since 1997, when the Navajo Tribe made it a Navajo Tribal Park. Photography within the canyons is difficult due to the wide luminosity range (often 10 EV or more) made by light reflecting off the canyon walls. This is a draw for photographers who want to hone their skills in a challenging environment, but a bane to casual snapshooters lacking the knowledge (and to a lesser extent, the equipment) necessary to obtain pleasing results.
Upper Antelope Canyon
Upper Antelope Canyon, called Tse bighanilini, "the place where water runs through rocks" by the Navajo, is located at 36°51′28″N, 111°22′20″W. It is the most frequently visited by tourists, due to two considerations. First, its entrance and entire length are at ground level, requiring no climbing. Second, beams (shafts of direct sunlight radiating down from openings in the top of the canyon) are much more common in Upper than in Lower. Beams occur most often in the summer months, as they require the sun to be high in the sky.
Upper Antelope Canyon is very beautiful to visit year round. Winter colors are a little more muted like the photo displayed here. Summer months provide two types of lighting. To get rich colors as reds, blues and purple try the mid morning and mid afternoon tours. Light beams start to peek into the canyon March 15 and disappear October 7 each year. Beams are at their grandest from May to September.