Color and Texture
Lower Antelope Canyon, Navajo Nation, Arizona.
© Waldemar Halka - All rights reserved
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After visiting the Upper Antelope Canyon in October of last year, I decided that a quick visit to the lower canyon was required during my recent short trip to the area for the annular solar eclipse. After all, the canyons are just 120 miles or so from Monument Valley, where I photographed the eclipse. Both parts of the canyon are spectacular and worth a visit, but my experience with the upper canyon was much better. First, there was the weather factor. While in October the weather was perfect by my standards (about 78 F or 26 C), it was over 100 F (close to 40 C) during my May 21 visit. Second, there was the crowds factor. There were not too many tourists here at the end of October, but mid-May (and perhaps the eclipse) brought busloads of tourists to the area. The good thing about the lower canyon is that if you are deemed by the Navajos to have the "right" photo equipment (meaning a DSLR and a tripod), the tribal powers will give you a two-hour photographers pass, which allowes you to meander through the lower canyon without a guide. On the other hand, the upper canyon may be visited only with a guide. Although I was "unsupervised" in the lower canyon, the frequent guided tours passing through the narrow canyon, with people using flashes, posing for photos and bumping into me and my equipment, made the experience somewhat of a nightmare. I came back from my October trip with many more "keepers" than the lower canyon in May. If I ever come back to this area, it will be during cooler weather and outside of the typical bus-tour season.
Nikkor AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8D @35mm | f/11 | 1.3 sec - 1 EV | ISO 100
Gitzo tripod and RRL BH-55 ballhead
Post-processed in LR4 and CS5