Antelope Canyon - need advice

March 27th, 2017
My husband and I are going on a road trip from Colorado to Page, Arizona. I have been wanting to go to Antelope Canyon for years and now I am getting the chance to see this beautiful place.

Has anyone here been to this treasure of a place? Any advice for an amateur like me. I've read tips online, but I really value more this groups' advice and tips.

Thank you in advance.

March 28th, 2017
i wish someone would respond to this because i'd be curious about tips and tricks for shooting in canyon country as well... i've never been to antelope canyon, but the images from there that i have seen are amazing!

i have been to grand canyon, zion and bryce... a few things i would do differently if i went back are:
-- try to get more golden hour time in interesting spots... we were with a tour and there was only so much i could get to on my own... and the tour, of course, mostly happened during core daylight hours...
-- because i was on a tour, i was kind of encouraged to keep up with the group... this was frustrating because i wanted to spend a lot of time with my settings, slowing down and getting best view, best light etc... in retrospect, i would have done better to put the camera on auto and just focus on composition...
-- bring a tripod if you can... i didn't... and i wish i had... i couldn't have brought it with me while we were touring with the group, but it would have been fab to have at night...

anyway - good luck and most of al - enjoy!!!!
March 28th, 2017
I've been years ago. It's awesome. There's two sections, upper and lower. Plan to hit them both. Upper antelope canyon is more impressive, and has the light shafts, but you have to go with a tour. Make sure you sign up for a photo tour, not just a regular tour. And book with Chief Tsosie starting at 10:30am. (book early to make sure you get in) --

When I went, Chief Tsosie, would set us up in certain part of the canyon, give us a little time to compose, he'd then clear other tourists from the shot just as a light shaft would open up. He'd then throw sand so you could see the shaft really well, and within a few minutes that one would end, and he'd move us to the next one. It was awesome.

Here's one of the shots I got from it.

The lower antelope canyon was still fun since we got to go on our own without a tour. (I'm guessing things haven't changed) We didn't need reservations, and they gave us 4 hours to go through it. You have to do a little more climbing through the canyon, but they've installed ladders on the more difficult parts, so most people don't have any trouble getting through it.

This is the entrance to lower antelope canyon.

If you can, do it on a weekday since it can get pretty crowded on weekends. But it's worth it even with the crowds. Bring lots of water and sunscreen, since you won't always be in the slot canyon and it can get dang out out there. Also, bring a tripod, shoot raw and bracket your exposure.

Here's a few more of what I shot in both upper and lower canyons.

While you're out there, be sure to stop at horseshoe bend. I think it's about a mile hike to get there, but it's worth it.

Depending on how long you're staying, you may want to try to get permits to see 'the wave' at Coyote Buttes, since that's only about an hour outside page. It's a much longer hike, but well worth it.

The site to apply for permits is at

Sorry for the rambling reply... let me know if you have any specific questions.

March 28th, 2017
Actually Josh @sudweeks said it all. What a perfect reply to your question. Only thing I would really emphasize and I would have liked to know before entering the slot, ... how to cope with "white balance" or you shoot RAW. (I wasn't as fit in photography then...) For not fumbling with it, down there in the slot. And yes, a tripod is a must.

I personally liked the lower antilope canyon better, as we had plenty of time and total quitness to admire and photograph this magic place. For me the chattering of people can really destroy such a once in a lifetime experience. BTW, this is on of my top ten travel experiences I ever had.
I really hope you have a great time out there... Enjoy!!!

Here some of my impressions, if you care...
March 28th, 2017
Yikes - so I looked up the price of the photo tour. $200! It must have gone up, but it's still worth it. You don't get to use a tripod with the regular tour, and they don't clear the other tourists out of your shot. And you get a little longer in the canyon.
March 29th, 2017
@mona65 Oh, Wow!!! Your photos are awesome! The lighting that the canyon produces is beautiful. I can't wait to go! Thank you so much for the tips. I was actualy debating on bringing my tripod, I wasn't sure if it's going to be more of a hassle to carry inside the canyon. It's coming with me now :)
March 29th, 2017
@northy I know, right! This place is gorgeous! A co-worker told me about this place. I was again reminded a month ago that this time will be perfect to go. You avoid the extreme heat during the summer months, and the bigger crowds. I've been with tour groups too and I know how it is. Feeling rushed and not being able to change settings. I ended up shooting auto focus a lot so my group doesn't kick me out for being a slow poke. LOL
Sounds like a tripod is a must, I will definitely bring it with me. :)
March 29th, 2017
@sudweeks Thank you! I really appreciate your tips. Very helpful!

1. For the photo tour, do they charge my companion the same amount (or even allow him to join in) if he doesn't have a camera? i.e. my husband :)

2. The sand effect sounds like super cool shot. Is there a lot in the canyon? How do I protect my camera? Would the sport/action setting work better to catch the sand movement? Or does it even matter at all?

3. For an amateur like me joining a photo tour, will I have time to change settings if the lighting changes? It looks like a combination of bright and dark spots from your pics.

The horseshoe bend is also part of the trip suggested by the co-worker that got me inspired to go to Antelope Canyon. I need to start breaking in my hiking shoes again. :D

I have never heared of the Coyote Buttes, looks like another place not to be missesd if you're already in the area. Thank you so much for mentioning it.

I so appreciate your tips and advice! I already feel more confident about the trip. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
April 3rd, 2017
@carrieoakey - I brought my wife when I went, and I think I paid the photo price for us both, but it was a lot cheaper 10 years ago. I guess demand has gone up since then. I’d call and ask, I bet if he doesn’t have a camera, you could probably talk them into charging the regular non photo tour price for him.

The ground in upper antelope canyon is all sand. But as long as you don’t drop your camera, you should be ok without any additional protection on it. I wouldn’t change lenses in the canyon, just stick with the widest lens you have. I shot mainly around 12mm on a crop sensor, so 18mm on full frame. For the movement of the sand, you’d want at least a second shutter speed. I think I went with aperture priority, F8 at ISO 100, and my shutter was between 1 - 4 seconds. You’ll get set up in an area before a light shaft will open up, so you’ll have a few minutes to test your settings.
April 4th, 2017
@sudweeks Thank you so much! I've already written all the settings you mentioned and tucked in my camera bag. :)
Low light has always been the hardest for me to shoot. I almost always end up using auto focus as a back-up. I will be practicing a lot before we leave for Page, Az.
That was really smart about not changing lens. Thanks!!
I've got another point and shoot that my husband can use if they don't allow non-photographers. :) He said he'll do it for me as long as I don't tease him when he looks awkward and dorky. lol
Thanks, again! I can't wait!
April 28th, 2017
I made it! I went to Page, Az last week. Thank you for the tips! @sudweeks
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