10 Tips for Photographing Antelope Canyon

2 weeks ago 10
How to seizure  photos of Antelope Canyon.

Want to marque the astir of your travel to Arizona? Wondering however you tin seizure consistently breathtaking photos of Antelope Canyon?

In my opinion, Antelope Canyon is 1 of the astir exquisite earthy features successful the US. It’s besides a landscape photographer’s paradise. You tin seizure beauteous item shots, stunning scenics, and everything successful betwixt – if you cognize the close techniques, that is.

In this article, I stock 10 applicable tips for photographing Antelope Canyon. I explain:

  • How to take the close gear
  • How to marque the astir of the beauteous light
  • How to support your instrumentality harmless portion shooting
  • Much more!

So if you’re acceptable to seizure immoderate gorgeous shots of your precise own, past let’s dive close in, starting with:

1. Do plentifulness of research

How to seizure  photos of Antelope Canyon

Before you caput to Antelope Canyon, it’s indispensable that you bash your homework and program your travel accordingly.

First, you’ll privation to caput to the Canyon astir midday (between 10 AM and 2 PM). That’s erstwhile the prima volition radiance done the canyon openings, which makes for amazing photos.

But portion it’s mostly champion to sprout astatine midday, you’ll get antithetic results depending connected the clip of year. Between the months of March and October, you tin seizure shafts of airy hitting the canyon floor; betwixt the months of November and February, you tin seizure beauteous colors on the walls (but you won’t spot immoderate sunbeams).

You should besides probe antithetic tours. Note that you cannot view Antelope Canyon without archetypal booking a circuit (and yes, the tours are often expensive; that’s a terms you person to wage if you privation to spot 1 of nature’s astir awesome landscapes). Also, Antelope Canyon really consists of respective idiosyncratic canyons (such arsenic Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, and Antelope Canyon X), each of which has antithetic features, tours, and restrictions.

Some photography tours let you to transportation tripods and cogwheel bags, portion tours for non-photographers mostly don’t. Also, arsenic acold arsenic I’m aware, Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon bash not, nether immoderate circumstances, fto you transportation a tripod – whereas Canyon X does (though cheque the details of your circuit earlier booking conscionable to beryllium sure).

Personally, I highly urge hopping connected a circuit designed for photographers. It’ll beryllium much expensive, but the guides are knowledgeable and volition mostly bash a large occupation helping you pursuit the light.

2. Bring the close gear

Photographing Antelope Canyon tin beryllium done with immoderate cogwheel (including an older DSLR with a kit lens), but for the champion results, I promote you to bring:

  1. A tripod. It should beryllium sturdy capable to support your camera stone steady. If you bash usage a tripod, you tin get distant with bringing an older APS-C camera. But remember: Tripods are not allowed connected each tours and successful each locations. If you’re not definite whether a tripod is permitted, beryllium definite to cheque with your circuit company!
  2. A full-frame camera that offers fantabulous low-light capabilities. You privation to beryllium capable to boost your ISO arsenic needed, and older APS-C models volition present tons of noise. If you program to usage a tripod for astir oregon each of your shots, this is little important; instead, conscionable marque definite you bring a high-megapixel camera that tin seizure plentifulness of item successful lawsuit you determine to make immense prints!
  3. An ultra-wide lens (or the widest lens successful your arsenal). To seizure the best compositions, you request a immense tract of view. In fact, if you don’t ain an ultra-wide lens, see renting one.
  4. A remote release. This is optional, but if you’re moving with a tripod, immoderate property of the shutter fastener volition make unwanted vibrations. So you’ll either request to usage your camera’s self-timer to hold the shutter or a distant release, which volition fto you travel the shutter from a distance.
Canyon slot with tree

3. Avoid changing lenses

Antelope Canyon is dusty.

Which means that you should debar changing lenses arsenic overmuch arsenic possible. Exposing your camera sensor to the wrong of the canyon tin pb to sensor particulate (never a bully thing!).

beam of airy  coming done  Canyon slot

If you spell connected a circuit that allows you to bring other gear, see taking a 2nd camera with a antithetic lens for different perspective. Alternatively, marque definite you bring a coagulated zoom; that way, you tin instrumentality vantage of assorted focal lengths to seizure plentifulness of antithetic compositions.

Whatever you do, transportation a cloth truthful you tin often cleanable your lenses portion shooting. And erstwhile your circuit is implicit and you’re backmost successful the edifice room, marque definite you springiness each your cogwheel a bully once-over.

4. Make usage of your camera’s LCD

Antelope Canyon tends to beryllium beauteous busy, and radical often watercourse successful and retired successful ample groups. Expect radical some successful beforehand of you and down you astatine each times, truthful marque definite you measurement carefully.

Don’t get excessively engrossed successful your viewfinder; otherwise, you mightiness find yourself accidentally bumping into different people. My proposal is to usage your camera’s Live View option – and if your camera has an articulating screen, flip that out. Compose via the LCD, and erstwhile you’re acceptable to instrumentality the shot, rapidly cheque the viewfinder, marque definite everything is good, past property that shutter.

How to seizure  photos of Antelope Canyon

That way, you tin enactment alert of your surroundings, but you’ll besides get the accidental to reappraisal your compositions and settings successful the viewfinder earlier taking each shot.

5. Choose the close settings (including RAW)

First things first:

For the champion Antelope Canyon photos, you should perfectly beryllium shooting successful RAW, not JPEG. RAW files instrumentality up much retention space, but they besides connection acold much flexibility erstwhile post-processing; for instance, if you person the archetypal RAW file, you tin retrieve missing item oregon shadiness item if you accidentally messiness up the exposure. (If you privation JPEGs for easier sharing, past see shooting successful your camera’s RAW+JPEG mode.)

Next, acceptable your camera to Manual mode. You privation to beryllium capable to prime your ISO, aperture, and shutter speed independently. Here are my recommended settings:

  • ISO: If your camera is mounted connected a sturdy tripod, usage your camera’s lowest autochthonal ISO (usually ISO 100). This volition support sound levels to a minimum. Otherwise, boost the ISO until the shutter velocity is accelerated capable to flooded camera shingle (generally astir 1/60s oregon so).
  • Aperture: Use a constrictive aperture to support the full country sharp. In my experience, you’ll request to sprout betwixt f/11 and f/18, but the specifics volition beryllium connected your scene. An f/11 aperture tin grip shallower compositions, but if you’re shooting a country with tons of depth, f/18 whitethorn beryllium necessary. (Alternatively, you tin usage a absorption stacking technique.)
  • Shutter speed: Pick a velocity based connected your camera’s vulnerability meter. This should mostly beryllium betwixt 2 and 6 seconds with a debased ISO. If your ISO is overmuch higher, you whitethorn beryllium capable to sprout astatine 1/60s oregon faster (which is indispensable for handholding).

After you instrumentality an image, beryllium definite to cheque the effect connected the backmost of your LCD. Check the histogram, too, conscionable to marque definite you don’t clip the highlights oregon shadows.

abstract creation  Antelope Canyon

6. Spend clip searching for caller compositions

At times, you’ll beryllium forced to hold for groups of radical to determination done the Canyon. This mightiness consciousness frustrating – but I promote you to usage the downtime to hunt for caller compositions. Look up astatine the openings successful the rock, and spot what you tin find.

That way, erstwhile the radical has left, you’re acceptable with a caller photo!

Pro tip: Aim to see layers in your compositions. Layers make eye-catching patterns, and they tin besides adhd extent to your changeable (which is beauteous overmuch ever a bully thing).

How to seizure  photos of Antelope Canyon

Also, if radical are lingering and you can’t get the photograph you want, retrieve that it’s not ever atrocious to see radical successful your shots! You tin besides person amusive utilizing ultra-long exposures that render passersby arsenic ghostly blurs.

Antelope Canyon has large spiritual relevance to the Navajo tribes. The Navajo speech astir the forms and shapes carved into the stone by h2o that flows done the canyons. And for me, 1 of the top things astir shooting successful this country is uncovering the unseen, uncovering what is hidden, and capturing it successful a beauteous photo.

So arsenic you’re searching for antithetic compositions, question retired hidden slots. Look for absorbing forms and shapes. And bash your champion to seizure them! When you photograph a slot that cipher other has ever shot, you’ll consciousness a large consciousness of accomplishment.

How to seizure  photos of Antelope Canyon

The chromatic successful the photograph beneath represents an eagle with unfastened wings:

8. Do see radical successful your photos

I get it: The astir fashionable Antelope Canyon shots thin to diagnostic stone untouched by quality presence. When groups of radical locomotion done the area, astir photographers halt shooting.

But successful my opinion, you tin really seizure astonishing shots by incorporating visitors into your compositions.

Do I deliberation you should only constitute with radical successful the scene? Of people not! But by including a idiosyncratic successful your photos, you can:

  • Add an eye-catching constituent of interest
  • Create colour opposition (between the person’s apparel and the Canyon wall)
  • Provide a consciousness of standard truthful you tin pass the unthinkable size of the Canyon

I bash urge keeping the fig of radical successful your photos to a minimum. Too galore passersby volition look like, well, a circuit group. But if you tin see conscionable 1 oregon 2 people, you’ll extremity up with immoderate precise pleasing shots.

For this adjacent image, I asked a idiosyncratic dressed successful greenish to basal successful the scene. The greenish garment contrasted with the orangish walls, and the representation turned retired acold much interesting!

person climbing partition  successful  Antelope Canyon

9. Incorporate contrast

The much opposition you tin see successful your Antelope Canyon photographs, the better. I’m talking astir opposition of each types! For instance, you can:

  • Add textural opposition by including a premix of creaseless and wavy walls
  • Add tonal opposition by seeking retired scenes with agleam highlights and acheronian shadows
  • Add colour opposition by looking for antithetic hues successful the stone walls oregon (as discussed successful the erstwhile tip) by including radical with contrasting clothing
How to seizure  photos of Antelope Canyon

I particularly emotion compositions that diagnostic beardown tonal contrast. If you look carefully, you’ll announcement places wherever shafts of airy that penetrate from supra marque the halfway areas of the Canyon brighter and the sides darker.

10. Carry a h2o bottle

How to seizure  photos of Antelope Canyon

Here’s your last tip, and it’s a large one:

If you’re readying to walk a important magnitude of clip successful Antelope Canyon, marque definite you bring a h2o bottle! The country is dry, dusty, and – depending connected the clip of twelvemonth – precise hot. So enactment hydrated; that way, your Antelope Canyon memories are thing but great!

(Note that nutrient isn’t allowed inside, truthful devour earlier you arrive!)

Photographing Antelope Canyon: last words

Well, determination you person it:

My apical 10 tips for capturing unthinkable Antelope Canyon shots.

So person plentifulness of fun. Remember my advice. And bask the quality of the Canyon!

Amar Ramesh is an emerging lensman from Redmond WA, USA. Photography is simply a passionateness with infinite opportunities, and helium loves to stock the lessons and tips that helium learned with others. You tin spot his enactment here: Flickr | Twitter | Portfolio.

10 Tips for Photographing Antelope Canyon
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