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On the second day of the übertrip to Arizona and Utah, we attempted to win hiking passes to the Wave, located in Coyote Buttes. At some point in the recent past, the location of the daily lottery for permits was moved from the (obvious) ranger station at the trailhead to a (not obvious) ranger station 40 miles down the road at Kanab. We discovered this when we showed up at 8 AM and the only person there was an equally confused family which also was seeking passes... We jumped in the car (a Prius, thankfully), drove the 40 miles to Kanab, and entered the lottery for the 10 hiking passes right before the deadline. Unfortunately, 60 other people also did so, and unsurprisingly we didn't win passes. We re-drove the road and visited the famous Antelope Canyon as a consolation prize to ourselves.
I had really low expectations for Antelope Canyon, given the hordes of photographers that visit it--it looked even worse than Yosemite. However, we visited Lower Antelope Canyon and bought photo passes, so we didn't have to stick with a group and were free to wander around. Upper Antelope Canyon, which is the more famous location, requires you to pay an absurd >$100/person and mandates that you stick with a group. Anyhow, Lower Antelope Canyon was fairly empty, and so we had free range of photo angles and could lollygag as needed. The only downside was that the photo pass only entitled us to two hours in the canyon, so we had to leave after walking down it just once. I definitely would have stayed longer if I could have.
This photo is nearly straight-out-of-camera. I didn't even touch the saturation slider--red light reflecting off red rock makes for REALLY nice colors.
Following an online tip, I exposed for the red channel of the histogram instead of the usual combined luminance channel. This is extremely helpful for red/orange subjects, since the red channel will blow long before the other channels, resulting in a kind of ugly orange image. Exposing for the red channel, which results in an overall somewhat underexposed image, really helps to create great colors in golden hours scenes or (in this case) red rock.