Still with me? We started in Vegas and drove to Zion. Then spent a day in Zion stopping in several spots around the park. After that we headed to Page to do some river-rafting. Whew! Now you are all caught up.
Day 4 was a luxury as it was the first day since we started our vacation that I didn’t have to get up at five in the morning! Our plan for the day was to visit Antelope Canyon for a photography tour. But before heading into to town we decided to drive out to the Navajo Bridge which we had passed coming back from Lee’s Ferry the day before at the end of our rafting trip.
The bridge sits over Marble Canyon and, along with the Glen Dam Bridge, is one of the only the only crossings over the Grand Canyon for hundreds of miles. Originally there was only one bridge but as cars got bigger and bigger it wasn’t wide enough to hold traffic going two directions so they built a wider bridge and left the original for pedestrians. I think that is really cool. Apparently it is a good spot for the extremely rare condor sighting, but that is not something I can say is a hard fact. In any case, it is a great spot for photos like this one:
After checking this spot out for a while, we headed into the town of Page to start our tour. Mr. Misadventures had seen many spectacular photos of Antelope Canyon and wanted to take some of his own. He researched several companies doing the tour and decided to go with Antelope Canyon Tours in Page as it was run by the Navajo tribe that the site actually sits on which we thought would give us best access and have the best experience. We were not disappointed.
Our group of eight was brought into the Navajo Nation from Page in an awesome Swiss jeep that is a hard core 4×4 (to get over all that sand!).
I cannot stress enough how important it is to sign up for the Photographer’s tour rather than the regular tour if you want to spend any amount of time taking photos. Part of paying the extra money is that the guide makes sure that all the good spots for shots are set-up and that you don’t have people running in front of your photos. You basically get the “right-of-way” on the tour, all other tour guides defer to your group and photo-taking. Having said that, you are still a bit rushed, however there is nothing much you can do about that, although I have some tips at the bottom of the post.
It is beautiful inside the canyons, and if you are an experienced photographer you will certainly get great shots. I am not an experienced photographer and I was stressed! I really shouldn’t have been as Mr. Misadventures was surely going to capture some great shots, but I felt the pressure none-the-less!
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon that is stunning. The incredible variety of textures and shapes created by years and years of wear from water and wind against the background of a beautiful golden sand is truly breath-taking. And although there are spots of sun coming in from open pockets up above, it is definitely a low-light environment for cameras. I will have to say that my iPhone photos turned out a whole lot better than some of the photos I took with my Canon – that is not equipment but the user!
We had a little visitor too, I only saw one of these guys, probably too many people around!
And these are some of my shots:
We left Antelope Canyon having taken hundreds of photos. We were dusty, hungry and thirsty and decided to check out Big John’s Texas Barbeque in Page for an early dinner. They had outdoor seating and as dusty as we were we sort felt like we were camping out, the barbeque atmosphere was perfect! And the food was really darn good!
Nothing says Americana like a barbeque pit and an American flag!
Here are some tips for the Antelope Canyon tour:
> A tripod is essential. The low-light conditions make it imperative that you use one.
> Decide which lens is your favorite and bring that one. There is too much dust and too much rushing to try to change lenses in these conditions.
> Bring your camera and tripod only, you don’t need anything else. No bag, no water (you aren’t in there long enough). You don’t want to be burdened carrying anything else (even if it is on your back) while taking photos.
> Don’t do the tour in the middle of the day when it is the most crowded. Instead do the first or last tour and you will have more time to take photos and less people to get in your way.
> If your plan is to take photos, do the Photographer’s Tour. I watched others on the regular tour try to get photos and it was hard to do unless you are just iPhoning it, but you will get people in your photos.
How about you? Have you visited Antelope Canyon and have any tips?