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 (except for special Canyon X tours), no water bottles, and no lingering. And the godbeams only happen around noon and only for a few months of the year.
My previous posts were on Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. This post is on Canyon X.
Like Upper Antelope, Canyon X also offers godbeams. But it is deeper and harder to photograph. It offers photo tours that allow a tripod, and you will need one for many images.
Feature Image Details
- EOS R5 Mirrorless Camera
- Canon 16-35MM F4 L Lens
- F11 for 1/60th second ISO 1600
- Focal length 17mm
I set my camera to take 5 images. The base exposure, +1 stop, +2 stops, -1 stop, and -2 stops. I blended several images together to produce the above frame.
Except to capture light beams, it is best to avoid direct light.
If you have time to do all three canyons then go for it, but Upper and Canyon X are really only worth it for the light beams.
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.
Previous Slot Canyon Posts
I got the most usable images by far at Lower Antelope. Unless you can get a godbeam time slot, that is the best one, and early morning is the best time. The beams at Upper were far better than Canyon X.
Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.
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Mike “Mish” Shedlock