Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Today I felt like I got my photo-mojo back.

Alan and I went on two different tours of Antelope Canyon with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours. I went on the photographer’s tour (you must have a camera and tripod), and Alan went on the non-photographer tour (but he did take his Nikon P900 camera with him).

The ride out to the canyon is about two miles, it’s sandy and very dusty, and bumpy – it was fun. There were only six photographers on our tour, plus our guide, Kirk (yes, just like Star Trek). Kirk helped us to understand what our settings should be – I’d already researched mine, but didn’t yet know what the white balance kelvin setting should be – fortunately my gut instincts were right and I was good to go right out of the shoot.

The light was bright and very good when we first got started in the canyon, so the speed was more than one second. As we went deeper into the canyon though, the speed had to be adjusted. I shot anything from one second to 25 seconds (only two shots with that setting). Most of the time I was flipping between three and eight seconds exposure time, with my f-stop set at eleven, kelvin set at 5600, and ISO set at 100. I used my Nikkor 18mm-300mm lens – everyone else used wide angle – that lens provided me with the added advantage of being able to zoom in tight on some subjects, a very nice plus for me.



The tours running through the canyon began to really pick up in numbers by the time we were 1/3 through our two-hour tour. There was one moment when we left one chamber and moved about 15 feet into another chamber. Another small group of photographers came in behind us and then wanted us to move. Kirk was having none of that and there were some tense words between that group’s guide and Kirk, nothing ugly, but he stood his ground and we got our shots in.


Kirk made the trip back to the starting point fun in the Rambler going across the deep sand – the ride back was more fun than the ride there.


When I got back and joined up with Alan we shared stories of how each of our tours went. He didn’t have a lot of confidence in his photos, but we’ll see how they turn out in post.





We left the tour location and grabbed a quick bite to eat at Jack-in-the-Box, then headed over to Horseshoe Bend. The place was packed!! The sheer number of people coming and going there was mind-boggling! I felt a little anxious as to my ability to get the shot I wanted. I was told I’d need to lay down and lean out over the escarpment in order to get the shot.

After hiking out a little less than half-a-mile, we arrived at the overlook. I approached and, using my wide angle (11mm) I stood at the very edge and took my shot, and then another, and another. I came back from the edge and looked them over and figured I needed a few more shots for assurance. Alan went near the edge and took a couple of pictures before I went right out to the edge again and snapped a few more after making some last-minute adjustments. On our way back to the parking lot Alan told me I’d won the “who’s less afraid of heights” contest.  LOL