If you are in the vicinity of Page, Arizona, consider a tour of the some of the slot canyons in the area.
I have a caveat: Photographers better be prepared to be herded through quickly, no tripods or backpacks, no water bottles, and no lingering. And the godbeams only happen around noon and only for a few months of the year.
My previous post was on Upper Antelope Canyon. This is Lower Antelope Canyon. The former is known for godbeams. But other than the light beams Lower is a better experience.
Feature Image Details
I set my camera to take 5 images. The base exposure, +1 stop, +2 stops, -1 stop, and -2 stops. I turned on image stabilization in the camera. I figured I would have to blend images as the highlights have a tendency to blow out. Image alignment can be a problem unless one is very steady. In the end, I decided to work with a single image.
I had a difficult time selecting the featured image for this page. Here are some additional images from Lower Antelope.
Except to capture light beams, it is best to avoid direct light. All of the above image show light reflecting off the walls. The images are from two tries one early morning and one mid-morning. The above images are a mix of the two tries.
Unlike Upper Antelope there are no godbeams but also no foot prints to deal with. There are dozens of potential images but the canyon is deeper and needs a higher ISO. With image stabilization I could be steady for 1/8 of a second.
If you have time to do both canyons then go for it, but upper is really only worth it for the light beams.
Canyon X is coming up. It offers higher priced tours for photographers that allow tripods. Still it’s very frustrating. Canyon X is deeper and the light level much dimmer still. You will need a tripod and you will need to focus stack and/or exposure bracket.
Of the three, upper Antelope is the prettiest when there are godbeams (Mid-May to July or August, 11:00-12:30). But Upper Antelope is the shortest and most expensive. You don’t get much more than a half hour or so in the canyon. They call it a 90 minute tour but the drive is about 20 minutes each way. Canyon X is also best at noon.
The Lower Antelope tour is longer. It’s cheaper because there are no “prime times”. The best light is early in the morning, not noon. There will not be any godbeams.
I went to Upper and Lower antelope canyon in the 1980s with a few other photographers. The cost was zero and we had the whole place to ourselves for hours.
Do a search for Antelope Canyon Tours or Canyon X tours for pricing.
For my godbeam images please see Upper Antelope Canyon, Page AZ, Godbeams
Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.
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Mike “Mish” Shedlock