A muted, somewhat ghostly shot for you — from Upper Antelope Canyon in Arizona:
A few things to note if you want to visit either Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon for photography:
Only the upper canyon has nice, wide alcoves like this; also, it’s easier for people with mobility issues to move in, thanks to its relatively-wide sandy floor.
You need to move fast (and get a little assistance from your guide) to get a shot of an alcove that doesn’t have other people in it — this is particularly true for the upper canyon.
It helps to visit the upper canyon in the winter — you can see light rays in various places in Summer, and since this is well-publicized, the place is even more crowded then.
The upper canyon has a two-way pedestrian flow (as opposed to the lower canyon, which has an entrance on one end and an exit on the other), so there can be jostling as people try to go their separate ways.
If you’re planning a trip to Antelope Canyon and you’re taking a DSLR, you should give some thought in advance to just what lens(es) you should put on your camera body(ies). Fortunately, you’ve got a strong ally in this effort — namely, Flickr.
Before the trip, scan through Antelope Canyon shots that other people have posted to Flickr to find ones you particularly like. Then, when EXIF data is available for the shots, take note of the focal lengths used for the images — this will give you a very good idea of what you want to be taking along on your trip.
In my case, the images I liked best seemed to be taken with focal lengths around 20-30mm (35mm equiv.). So since I have Olympus four-thirds camera bodies (2x crop factor), I aimed for 10-20mm focal lengths in my lenses. So I had a 7-14mm lens on my E-3 body (primary camera) and 14-54mm lens on my E-520 body (backup). Whichever camera wasn’t being used at the time rested in a padded torso pack (ThinkTank Change Up) to protect it from accidental dings. Meanwhile, both camera bodies were outfitted with quick-release plates for my tripod so I could switch back and forth quickly.
Oh, and both camera bodies have lanyards — so whichever one was in use was tethered to my wrist at all times. Particularly important when there’s nothing soft for a camera to land on if you drop it.
Our visit to the canyon was on Memorial Day (a U.S. holiday held on the last Monday in May), and the trip through the canyon was dry as a bone. Some fellow travelers, though, told us they’ve gone through in winter and found spots chest deep in mud. So if you’re not traveling in summer months, make sure you have a change of clothing you’re willing to sacrifice to the hike — the pink mud permanently stains whatever you’re wearing.
It wasn’t terribly hot when we visited, but remember that you can’t exactly get out in the middle of the canyon to get that water bottle out of your car — take a bottle with you on your hike.
I’d been told before that a flashlight was a necessary thing to take on a trip through the canyon, but we never used ours. Maybe this is another winter (or early morning / late afternoon) thing?
Dust — there’s lots of it in the canyon. I’d recommend picking one lens for your camera(s) before you head in, then leaving it on. Swapping lenses in a dusty environment like this one is likely to get a lot of gunk into your camera. My solution: I have two camera bodies, I put complimentary lenses on the two of them and left them there.