In 2015 I was on a two week trip around northern Arizona. A key place for us to visit was Antelope Canyon, one of the best slot canyons in the world. A slot canyon is a narrow opening that is formed from water eroding through sedimentary rock in a particular way. Repeated flooding and erosion cause initial cracks to widen and expand into a canyon from one half to several meters wide, with high walls. The walls are typically formed into beautiful flowing shapes and may also reveal layers within the rock.
Antelope Canyon is on Navajo Reservation land, and you may only visit with a Navajo guide. There is an Upper and a Lower Antelope Canyon, separated by a few miles. On this trip, we booked a Photographer's Tour of the upper canyon, which allowed (and required) that we bring a tripod. That let us use longer exposures at low ISO's to improve image quality.
The tour started out with a short van ride to the entrance of the canyon. Then our guide led us inside. For the most part, the canyon was jammed with tour visitors. The guide pointed out a number of good features and angles to shoot. Some shots could be taken above people's heads, but on several occasions, the guide would line us up ready to shoot and briefly clear out the canyon in our view so we could shoot without people in the way. We spent about 45 minutes doing this and then we had to go. This was my first time to visit a slot canyon, and in spite of some inconveniences, it was excellent.
This shot was taken from within an arched enclosure in the sidewall of the canyon.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor