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Antelope Canyon

Saturday, February 23, 2008

We had a chance to visit the Antelope Canyon by Page, AZ last October. I feel very fortunate to have visited this place, and a place I want to go back to when I get a chance - being only 2 hours drive for us, that's something that will most likely to happen again, :). There are 2 canyons, upper and lower. We went to the upper canyon tour, lasts about 1 1/2 hours long.

If you have a chance to go there, here are something that I have learned:
1 - Only guided tours are allowed. But don't worry, there are plenty of operations in town, which by the way, also creates a small traffic jam (of people in the canyon) due to # of these tours that are in operation.
2 - Bring a tripod. It is fairly dark in the canyon, so steady the camera. I tend to press down on the camera when it is mounted on the tripod, to give it a better steadiness, but be careful, the sand below is usually very loose, so you may be sinking the tripod further, therefore cause movement. Bring cable release, or put your camera on a short 2 second timer to avoid additional shake. Bring a flash light might be helpful, to see the buttons on your camera in the dark.
3 - Look out for the falling sand! On a windy day, a lot of sand will fall from top of the canyon, my camera was covered in sand after this visit. So if you can some how protect it, some people wrap their camera in plastic bag, which does help.
4 - July to August is the raining season in this part of the world. So your might want to schedule your trip accordingly. 12 people drowned back in the 90's due to flash flood, which I believe is another reason only guided tour is allowed.
5 - Don't use flash, it will have a "snow flake" effect with the falling sand from top of the canyon, not pretty.

I got lucky with the picture above, no one was in the way, which is not always easy. But I think having people in the shot is also kind of neat. Due to cloudy day, I didn't get the "light tunnel" effect that you may have seen. I believe the best time for that type of shots is to go around noon, where the sun is right above the opening of the canyon.

There're a lot to visit around Page. Glenn Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Colorado River tour, not far from Grand Canyon-North Rim, 2 hours from Zion National Park, plus much much more.

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