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 canyon was formed by the erosion of Navajo sandstone, 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.