Friday, November 7, 2008
I got the chance to visit Antelope Canyon on Thursday with my friend Mia. Mia lives in Seattle and for a long time has wanted to photograph these unique canyons in Northern Arizona. We booked a tour with Carol Bigthumb, a Navajo tour guide from the local area. Carol was a big help with transportation and she knew quite a bit about photography. Many times Carol got us in the right location for the best shot. We hired her for the entire day and went to a total of five of the canyons. She was called away for an emergency meeting with the tribal counsel so her son Lane took over during the afternoon. He was also an excellent guide and was an interesting person as well.
Because it is November the sun is much lower in the sky and therefore the "shaft of light" phenomenon does not occur as much as it does in the summer when the sun is higher and comes down through slots in the upper part of the canyon formation.
Taking these photos is much harder than I had thought. Because the way the light enters the area, there can be large differences in the light levels causing difficult blowout of either very bright areas of the photo or very dark areas. In the digital age this situation is called "clipping", I struggled with it all day.
Like many people, I tend to get compliacent about the place I live and don't explore enough. I had heard about the "slot canyons" many times but never made the effort to go see them. I was very happy that my friend motivated me to go see them.