I'm sure this has been photographically hashed and rehashed again and again over the years. I think Antelope Valley is a unique experience for every photographer, and regardless of how "trite" the subject has become, one does become proud to have captured this natural phenomenon in his or her own way. That being said... Just returned to CA today from my Southwestern hiatus. I've had a little time to look through the pictures but it's going to be a while before I get through all of them. I've got so many photos to go through that I'm going in reverse order...but I think these are by far my favorites from the trip because I have been waiting half my photographic life to shoot Antelope Valley. Antelope Valley lies in a small town on the north side of Arizona, best known for its slot canyons. It is perhaps one of AZ's best kept secrets because almost everyone has "seen" it in photos...but few people know where it lies and what it beholds. It's nothing like you expect at first. Although it's not well known, it is not large, so the small amount of tourism that the canyon recieves causes mass chaos when tours are running. But there are moments...when everyone leaves and all that's left are less than 10 people traversing the canyon quietly, observing reverence for the natural wonder and hoping to capture the prime moment that makes Antelope Valley so magical. The light beams meander down for just an hour, beginning as faint dodgy areas and intensifying as the sun rises, peaking in a blistering beam of light that seems to penetrate the ground beneath. It's a cool 60º in the cavern, and for those brief 60 minutes, a photographer's paradise. You could spend a lifetime trying to capture the spirit of the slot canyons, but in such a short time...the best you can do is take a deep breath and focus your lens through the dusty air and pray that you do it justice. When I looked at the photos later - it's amazing how surreal these canyonscapes look. Many of them look like they are products of imagination painted on canvas...the REALLY amazing thing is that it's nature's work on it's own canvas, and I was only lucky enough to capture them once in my life. All photos shot with Nikon D200. 12-24DX with B+W CPL and ND0.9 with cable release on a Gitzo 1327 tripod. After the canyons we headed back to to another hidden gem that is way more well known from photos that its actual location. From a tiny highway turnoff, a half mile hike revealed one of AZ's most gorgeous views of the Colorado river. The RED red bluffs and green blue water make for an amazing sight. A few hundred feet high, hanging the camera off the cliff by holding onto one extended tripod leg and tripping the shutter with the cable release, I managed to fit the entire scene in 12mm.