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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Lower Antelope Canyon

June 16th, 2014 · 5 Comments

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Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. It’s in ​the ​Navajo ​Nation near Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. I went to Lower Antelope Canyon on my​ photo tour with Russ Burden of Monument Valley and the Glen Canyon area.​

​The ​c​anyon was formed by the erosion of Navajo s​andstone, primarily due to flash flooding, which still occurs there.​ Eleven tourists were killed ​in Lower Antelope Canyon on August 12, 1997 . Very little rain fell ​there that day, but ​heavy rain had fallen seven miles upstream. I was careful to wear my waterproof boots when I went down into the canyon.

Lower Antelope Canyon is the narrowest canyon I could imagine. It is beautiful with the swirls and the ​lines of the red rocks, the glow, and the way the light hits.

Russ’s guidance was to concentrate our compositions on the reflected, warm light areas in the canyon​ while avoiding areas where the sun hit directly​. Light entering the canyon and ​bouncing off the walls at the top gives this light. Shooting in the darker areas produces purple colored tones ​with an interesting effect. I combined the warm glow with the purple shadows to produce ​my abstract photography.

​The only time I included direct sunlight in my photos was to capture this image of a dusty light beam.​

​A Shaft of Light Falls on the Canyon Floor

A Shaft of Light Falls on the Canyon Floor

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​I Never Imagined that Rocks Could be So Sensuous

I Never Imagined that Rocks Could be So Sensuous

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​Looking Up at an Abstract "Nose"​

Looking Up at an Abstract "Nose"

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​"Waves ​"​ of Rock

"Waves " of Rock

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​The "Snail's Shell"

The "Snail's Shell"

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​The "Photographer" Emerges from the Canyon​ (Photo by Kylie Valencius)

The "Photographer" Emerges from the Canyon (Photo by Kylie Valencius)

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Posted in: Photography

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gretchen // Jun 18, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Amazing photos! Any more explanation of why the bounced light gives such different colors?

  • 2 David Mendosa // Jun 18, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Dear Gretchen,

    I’ve wondered the same thing! I hope that someone else reading this can give us the answer.



  • 3 Mark // Jul 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Fabulous pics David. I was there a year ago myself. Amazing place to visit.

    Camera you used and lens?

  • 4 David Mendosa // Jul 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Dear Mark,

    Thank you! I used a Canon 7D and Canon’s 18-200mm zoom lens.



  • 5 MARGE Gledhill // Oct 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Fabulous pidttures–such beauty–another
    wonder of GOD”S creation–thanks for sharing