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Antelope Canyon

Discussion in 'Landscapes, Architecture, and Cityscapes' started by DavidM, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Not purely landscape, but it's the best category I could think of for this kind of shot.

    I went on an extended road trip this past summer and stumbled across Antelope Canyon just outside of Page, AZ. I can't say enough about this place -- there's an almost magical feel to it as you walk through and see the way the light comes in from the top and highlights the swirling rock formations.

    If you ever get to go, make sure to bring along something to protect your gear. The wind blowing over the surface above you tends to cause sporadic "sandfalls" as you are walking around.

    I may put together something for the "Place to Shoot or Visit" board, or at least contribute to it if someone else wants to start that thread.

    This shot required quite a bit of post-processing, due mainly to the fact that I had inadvertently left "Long Exposure Noise Reduction" turned off on this 7-second exposure. I had pretty much given up on this shot until I got a graphics tablet, which made the job much easier.

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  2. F15Todd


    Feb 1, 2005
    Arizona, a photographers wonderland! Nice pic
  3. Thanks Todd!

    Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Utah were some of my favorite places when I was on that trip. Lots and lots of neat places and scenery out there!
  4. great shot David, the ray of light going down is awesome.
  5. Beautiful image David and so well photographed. I see lots of slot canyon imgages around here because of where I live, this is certainly one of the better ones.
  6. Thanks Harris and Gordon -

    I liked this one simply because it wasn't the "classic" sunbeam shot that most people get at the Upper Canyon. It can actually be difficult to get shots there that don't have people in them when you're there at the "peak" sunbeam times.

    The day I was there it seemed like there were between 50-75 folks in the Upper Canyon, so you had to time things carefully. I'd love to go back sometime and try again armed with a bit more knowledge.
  7. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    Absolutely great shot. It is still hard for me to believe that these are natural colors. The first time that I saw a shot from this location, I thought that it was somebody's PS CS LSD hallucination.... :lol: :lol:

    Very nice.

  8. Love the ray of light

    Very special image for sure it is superb
  9. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    This is one of the most shot places in Arizona, and this is maybe the best shot I've seen of it. Really wonderful color, and I can almost see the dust move in that shaft of light.
  10. Chris and Mike - thanks for the kind words!

    Frank - thanks, and I understand the confusion. One of the challenges with all my Antelope Canyon shots is that I took them at a time when I was using Auto WB for pretty much everything. I don't think there's anything like this kind of scene in the D100's database, so none of the shots came out anywhere close to the correct WB with the Auto setting.

    The light does some crazy things there, and it's especially difficult when you've got a sunbeam actually hitting the sand at the bottom. If you look at this shot, you can see highlights coming from above on some of the rock that is clearly a very different color than the light being reflected off the sandy floor (as evidenced by the much warmer tones from below). I think that's one of the reasons this place has such a surreal appearance when you're in there.

    If I ever get to go back, I want to get some shots with a grey card to serve as a reference for post processing so that I have something to work from. Either that or somehow assimilate the human-embedded light meter that some of you seem to have for judging color temperature...
  11. JC


    Jan 27, 2005
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    I love your shot, David. I believe that by "classic" sunbeam shot you mean something like the one below, which I took several years ago on film. I definitely like yours better.

    (I think you might be better off with a white card than a gray for white balance.)


  12. Hey Joel -

    Actually, the shot I was referring to as "the standard" is something like this one:

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    I've seen a lot of variations from the same spot that I got this one. I couldn't get the exact shot I wanted for this particular spot, because there was another photographer just behind the large rock outcropping facing the opposite direction who wouldn't move from his mark. There were probably 20 or more where I was, and one of them was getting into a rather heated argument with the "renegade" photographer about the "right" angle to shoot from.

    Got kinda ugly, and it was embarassing to watch two grown men acting like little children. These sunbeams don't last long as they sun travels overhead, and it wasn't worth it to me to wait any longer as I was sure that other scenes lay ahead that I wouldn't want to miss. Besides, there were lots of other folks cooperating nicely and waiting their turn to capture the scene as it was.

    I like yours, though, too!

    The light is decpetively complex there, what with the sandy floor reflecting a very different color than the overhead light and the changes that creates.

    How wide a lens did you use?
  13. When we took a trip into the Utah, Arizona, New Mexico area in 2001, our guide was the fellow who wrote the National Geographic article on Slot Canyons. He had a lot of tales to tell. I never realized that some of those canyons can go on for a mile or more.

  14. They had a flash flood in one of them a few years back and as I remember 13 were killed, most of them German tourists.
  15. hans


    Feb 5, 2005
    The Netherlands

    Be proud,very beautiful image.it has everything you want a picyure to be
  16. Wow! How did I miss this all week? This is great, great shot! What metering technique did you use? And a 7 secs exposure? How dark is this place, really?

    I wish to revisit the SouthWest now that I am interested in photography: I did tour many of the western states about 15 years ago... without a camera (I wasn't interested then) :!: :!: Still, plenty of memories... in my head, but there is no printing them to share. :D 
  17. Gordon -

    I remember reading about the tourists that were killed. The Navajo guide told me that was one of the reasons they require the use of guides now.

    hans -

    Thanks for the kind words! Also, glad to hear that Nena is doing better. Hope she continues down the path of recovery quickly.

    Philippe -

    Thanks! I used matrix mode for the exposure, with a -2/3 EV applied. Yes, it's pretty dark in there, which is why the sunbeams show up so nicely (that plus the airborne sand).
  18. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
    Hi David,

    It doesn't get any better :!: Beautiful :!: :!:

    Keep up the great work-

    Best to you,

  19. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    That is a very nice shot. The only time I was there I had film, before I went digital. If I were to go there today with the D100, I'd set it up as follows: Contrast to low, sharpening off and WB to sunny-1. The contrast out there is a big problem and if you were to do a custom WB, I'd use a grey card outside in the sun. If you were to do a WB inside the canyon, it would try to compensate for the warm light (which is created by bouncing off the canyon walls) and you'd end up too blue. If you balance to the sun, it will let the warm tones created come thru accurately.
    When I was there, I thought I saw faces in the rocks. Musta been from that bad trip back in the 60's
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  20. Baywing -

    Thanks for the comments and especially the guidance on white balance.

    Your image is very nice -- it evoked memories of the guides (several of them) who all seemed to have stories about faces in the rocks. I remember Elvis, Sitting Bull, and one of the Roosevelts (can't remember which one they said) being pointed out. That seemed to be their favorite topic to bring up, except for one who was pointing out that Britney Spears had filmed a music video there a couple years before. Somehow that one just didn't add to the "feel" of the place for me...
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