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Stephanie Seto | profile | all galleries >> Nikon D80 Gallery >> Southwest Sojourn 2007 >> Antelope Canyon, Arizona tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Antelope Canyon was one of the most beautiful sights from my first trip to Arizona back in 2001. But some of my most disappointing photographs were taken there. Disappointing, for one reason: no tripod. We were specifically told not to bring tripods on the trip - they would be too cumbersome, and during our waking hours we rarely stayed still long enough to have time to set one up. For this trip, things were different.

I still had to sign up with a tour - only approved tour groups are allowed entry into the canyon, and individuals can't go in without one. Before I left Vancouver, I made a reservation on a tour that was longer and meant for photographers. Only, when I got to the office where the tour company operated from, I discovered that they didn't have my name on file, which meant that I didn't have the reservation after all, and the tour that I'd wanted to join was full that day. Apparently, the guy who is responsible for taking reservations over the internet had been very sick for awhile. I had wondered why I never received e-mail confirmation. That goes to show you that, sometimes, you just have to deal with an actual person.

So, what to do? Fortunately, there was a shorter tour that was just about ready to leave for the canyon. I was worried about the tour length, but the guide assured me that I'd still have time to take the pictures I wanted. The only other people who had signed up for that tour were three people visiting from Israel. After a fast, rather bumpy ride in the back of a truck, we arrived at the entrance to the canyon. I quickly mounted my camera on to my tripod (the night before, I had already swapped the Nikkor 18-70 which normally lives on my D80 for the much wider Sigma 10-20). Then I just left the camera on the tripod and lugged it around from spot to spot. Fortunately, Upper Antelope Canyon is not very long so it wasn't a big deal. Our guide led us through the slot canyon, telling us about some of its history and legends surrounding it, and pointing out some of the best angles from which to take our pictures. He was really quite helpful in making sure that we got the most out of our rather short time there. It's too bad that it wasn't the best time of year for photographs - during the summer, shafts of light shine into the canyon from above, making for even more dramatic images. But, on the whole, I fared better this time than last.

Aside from the photos of Antelope Canyon in this gallery, there are also ones of Monument Valley and Horseshoe Bend (well, one photo of each, anyway). I actually had no idea that I'd be driving through Monument Valley until I was doing it, and so I just quickly pulled off to the side of the road to take a picture. The story is similar for Horseshoe Bend: I didn't realize until the day before that it was just outside of the town of Page, where I'd be spending one night.

Monument Valley
Monument Valley
Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend
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