Have ever seen any surreal photo of wave-like rocks?
Vivid shades of sandstone red blending in and out of the view like waves of the ocean but on land. Compelling dark shadows highlighting the contrast of the abundant layers in view. May be a ray of sunlight peaking from a corner or lighting up the background.
More often than not this amazing scene would be from the heart of numerous canyons in western USA with the Antelope canyon being a prime suspect.
Antelope canyon is a shutterbug’s paradise located near Page, Arizona. It is like a treasure trove of fabulous frames with a gorgeous play of shadows around myriad shades of flowing red. Beautiful red sandstone seem to be carefully sculpted in wondrous shapes over thousands of years by the hands of nature. Water might have been the chief architect for this site but wind and gravity have played their part in the erosion.
This slot canyon is not part of the US national park system but rather comes under Navajo land and is governed by their own rules. Private vehicles are not allowed beyond the parking area and paid guided tours are compulsory (at least for Upper canyon). As such the canyon path is rather straightforward and it is not like a maze that you would need a guide. But such are the rules.
We opted for touring the Upper Antelope canyon. As we were driving, we took the Navajo tour directly from the parking of Antelope canyon. Alternatively, you could book a tour from Page.
In a pack of 8 we were on our way at the scheduled time in the Navajo tour open van. From Parking lot to the Antelope entrance is about a mile-long no-road route which is painful, bumpy and dusty as anything.
The tour is around one and half hours long. The tour guide essentially takes you from one end of the canyon to the other and back. They would highlight the key photo points and points of interest along the way. And added benefit is that they could capture your pics as well.
At this time of the year (October), the angle of the Sun is such that the sunlight does not come directly in the canyon at any point of the day. So, we missed out on those unique scenes. But still the canyons were as beautiful as we had imagined and we captured some great shots of the play of light and shadow over stunning red sandstones.
The slot canyon is narrow and crowded with number of tours coming and going. So, we had to be careful not to bump into anyone or photo-bomb others. Also, we had to be alert to capture the canyon in the short windows when no-one else was in the frame. At times we stayed at the back of the group or jumped in the front to capture the best view available.
It was no doubt a very short tour with limited time on hand to admire the natural beauty of the canyons. But, still we got a good taste of the canyons. May be next time we would opt for the longer (and costlier) photo tours but only if the sun rays are visible inside the canyon.
Do you have a story to tell about your Grand Canyon experience? Drop in a comment or send us a mail. We will definitely reply. All the interesting tales will be published in a special feature.