Archive for February 2012
This image is from deeper into Upper Antelope Canyon. A very different flavour from yesterday – with this image I wanted to look more closely at the textures. The light that comes only from the crack in the canyon far above serves to emphasize the textures in the rock walls.
I’m keeping it brief today – I’m only recently back from running a photo booth at my kids’ elementary school for their Fine Arts night. I ran the booth with a bunch of grade 6 kids helping out. The kids all had a blast posing. I set it up so we shot tethered, projecting the images on the wall as they were shot. By the end we were all very tired.
One hour wasn’t nearly enough in this beautiful slot canyon in northern Arizona. I could spend days in here, but the longest tour allowable is just two hours in duration. Most camera jockeys have probably seen pictures of Upper Antelope Canyon and wished they could go. If you ever make it to the Grand Canyon, put Upper Antelope Canyon on your itinerary. It’s a mere 3 hours further north and east near the little town of Page.
The canyon is within the borders of the Navajo Nation so you can’t just walk on in, you need a permit and a guide. Both can be found by just turning up at the canyon car park just outside town. If you want to secure a spot, you can always book with one of the tour agencies in town. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but offer a few more options. The one-hour tour from the car park will run you about $25 per adult. If you plan to sell images, you’ll need to get permission in advance.
The tour starts with a 5 km (3 mile), rather bouncy ride in the back of a pick-up truck. At the end of the road is a dark crack in a cliff face that leads into Upper Antelope Canyon.
If you plan to make the trip, a tripod is essential. It was very dark. To create the image above, I had my camera set to ISO 400 and f8.0. I took three bracketed images at 0.5s, 2s and 8s. The tour company websites tell you that the best light is between 11am and 1pm in the summer months, but those are also the busiest times. We entered the canyon just after 2pm. By the time we left at 3pm, I could barely see the walls in front of me in places.
I hope you’ll indulge me over the next few days as I explore the textures and shapes inside this amazing slot canyon.
While much of the rim and the lookouts are sealed off with fences to keep the unwary traveller from toppling off the side to experience a rather precipitous drop, there is still much of it that is wide open leaving only common sense between you and the bottom of the canyon. If you take the kiddies to the canyon, make sure you hold their hands!
On arriving at the canyon on Sunday night, we made a brief stop to watch the remains of the sunset. It had been snowing and raining that day and it was now comfortably below freezing. The parking lot and the foot paths were all coated in a thin, shiny, very slippery coat of ice. Over the next day or two, we saw more than one person being carried out on stretchers after they’d slipped and cracked their heads. While the rangers did take care to sand the roads, no one seemed to think to sand the paths! That was especially alarming considering that precipitous drop I mentioned above.
Braving the slippery trails, we made our way carefully to the lookout at Yavapai to take in the view. We were making our way down the very icy stairs when I belatedly noticed that the railing (protecting us from that drop) topped out about three steps down. That is, right at the side of the first couple of steps was a 100 meter drop straight down! I held my kids hands all the tighter as I imagined how easy it would be to slip right off the side.
Despite heading south to Arizona for a week’s vacation away from winter, I found snow anyway. It seems that at 7000 feet (average elevation of the south rim of the Grand Canyon), it can get pretty cold in the winter. For the two days we were at the Canyon, the temperatures were exactly the same as they were back here in Edmonton.
I capture this image around sunset at Hopi Point. For sunsets, I really like Hopi Point because you get a great view to the east and west and because there’s lots of room for all the people. With all the room, you don’t have to just stake out a spot at the railing and stay there the whole time. You can move around and get different angles.
For this image, I really wanted this scrubby little bush in the foreground, but there was a sign in the way and two photographers with tripods, one on either side of this sign totally blocking my access. Thankfully, I’m not too concerned about what people think so I got down on my hands and knees and crawled under the sign. I sat on the ground with my tripod splayed out to get down really low. With my camera lens sticking out through the railing I managed this unobstructed view of the canyon.
I’m back online and all ready with some new travel pics. The family and I have been down south in Arizona for the past week visiting my folks. After an easy flight down to Phoenix, we did a little 1,600 km (1,000 mile) road trip from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon to Lake Powell and back. We saw a few highlights along the way like the eye-catching red rocks of Sedona and the very popular Antelope Canyon. Needless to say, once I’ve sorted the images, I’ll have a few to share here over the next week or so.
My hope is that I’ll have improved over my previous set of Arizona images that featured way back in ancient history on Day 41 of this humble, little blog.
This image is of sunset from Hopi point on the southern rim of the canyon looking north. I really liked the way the clouds were caught on the peaks rising from the canyon.
Sorry. I couldn’t resist…
In case you’re wondering, this water drop is a single drop onto a previous drop. Clearly there was some food colouring involved. Equally clearly, there is some photo manipulation involved. I cut the drop in half and used the warp function in Free Transform to drag the right side down. I then copied the layer and flipped it horizontally to create this little love heart.
I hope you like it. It’s my valentine’s card to all my faithful followers. Thanks for continuing to visit my blog!
This is what you get when you drop a single drop of water on a dry mirror. Light source is a single, off-camera flash bouncing off a white background. How much simpler can you get?