Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Antelope Canyon Revisited

                                                                                  You are not here to verify,
                                                              Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
                                                              Or carry report.  You are here to kneel
                                                              Where prayer has been valid.

                                                                               -- T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

The last stop on our Road Scholar photo tour this fall was Lower Antelope Canyon -- one of the most amazing places you will ever experience!  I first visited Antelope Canyon in May of 2014, and again in April of this year, and I have posted stories and images about those visits in this blog; you can find them here and here.

Some things have changed since my first visit two and a half years ago.  In particular, as with Mesa Arch, the crowds have grown, thanks to the unfortunate addition of a second tour company pushing people through the canyon to maximize revenues.  So on the quarter-mile walk to the entrance of the canyon, instead of this . . .

May 2014

it looked like this:

October 2016

And in the first large room inside the canyon, instead of this . . . 

May 2014

it looked like this:

October 2016

So the opportunity to experience the sacred beauty of the canyon has been significantly diminished.

On the happy side, however, once we started making our way through the narrow twists and turns of this slot canyon . . . 

if you lifted your sights (and your camera), the shapes, textures, and colors were still magnificent and awe-inspiring:

(Yes, that's brdsht on the lion head formation.)

To give you a sense of the scale, here's a vertical of the same area in the image above:

And the light was different this time, creating new looks for every part of the canyon (from slightly different camera positions):

October 2016
May 2014

May 2014
October 2016

And speaking of light, I'm sure you've seen those images of a shaft of light coming straight down onto the canyon floor.  I've never been in the canyon at the right time and place, and on this trip we weren't there at the right time for exactly that image, but we did get an opportunity to photograph a similar scene:

We even saw Emperor Palpatine . . .

Eventually, of course, we reached the end of the canyon and had to climb back out to reality.  

However crowded it was, it was still a wonderful visit. 

If you would like to see these images -- and many more -- in a larger format, please visit my photography website, Todos Juntos Photography, by clicking here.


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