It’s difficult to take a bad picture in Antelope Canyon. Slot canyons are a photography dream come true. The light is so dramatic that it seems to be showing off for you, daring you to capture every angle. What’s funny about Antelope Canyon is that I had been drooling over pictures of these slot canyons for years, but not until I began dabbling in photography and researching places to shoot did I find out that this incredible place is in Arizona, my home state! So we made a weekend out of it.
I have been to Upper Antelope Canyon twice now, and the following pictures are the best of those two trips. I am not an expert on photography by any stretch of the imagination, but I did learn quite a bit about shooting in low light situations, and specifically about the logistics of shooting in Antelope Canyon on those two trips. Here are some tips that I would give those who are considering shooting in this type of situation:
1. Because the canyon is quite narrow in many places, I stuck to my wide angle lens. All of these photos were taken with my 10-24 mm Tamron. The dust and sand made it impossible to switch lenses while inside the canyon, so I stuck with the same lens the entire time. This meant I didn’t need to carry my bag with me, which was nice because the canyon is very crowded.
2. Speaking of dust and sand, make sure you take a brush, air bulb or lens cloth so that you can wipe your lens when needed while in the canyon!
3. A tripod is absolutely essential. Some of my exposures were several seconds long and would have been literally impossible without a tripod.
4. If you want to capture the light beams that you see in some of my photos, you must go to Antelope Canyon during the summer, preferably June or July. This is the only time of year when the sun is at the right place in the sky to shine down into the canyon. The light beams are created when the guides throw sand in the air to catch the sun.
5. If you are going to Antelope specifically for photography, you MUST go on a photography tour. There are many (MANY) people in the canyon, especially in the summer. The guides leading the photography tours are able to hold people back for a minute or two to allow the photographers to shoot the canyon without people in the picture. I used this company both times and was very pleased with their knowledge and expertise in regards to both the canyon itself and photography as well: http://www.navajoantelopecanyon.com.
Main Chamber in Upper Antelope Canyon
Sun Beams and Purple Colors
Sun Beam in Upper Antelope Canyon