Antelope Canyon area in winter? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am considering a trip to Antelope Canyon, Paria Wilderness, etc this winter (as that is when I can get away from my business). Any input as to where to go and how to be prepared would be great, as this will be a 15 hour drive for me.



-- Jon Paul (, November 10, 2001


Many think the best time of day to work in these canyons is midday; so that won't change too much in the winter. But I have forgotten when it rains most in that part of the country; maybe late summer. So check with a ranger or some reliable source. You don't want to be in a slot canyon if it is or has rained anywhere upstream in the prior 2 to 6 hours. Conversely, fresh wet mud is a facinating subject.

Page, Arizona is centrally located and a stone's throw from Antelope. About ten years ago it wasn't much and I doubt that it has changed.

Used to be you could just walk into canyons on the Navajo Reservation such as Antelope or Peach. You may need a guide these days. That might be a good thing if the guide is familiar with what a photographer would want to see.

Hopefully, such a guide is patient because the exposure times are very long. Hours long sometimes. The canyons lend themselves to both color and B&W. I remember exposing for the highlights and being unable to read the shadows due to low light but the shadows took care of themselves with a two-hour (or longer) exposure. I used HP5 and PMK. Don't know what color film would be best for such conditions. People use all formats; a view camera is not necessarily the only choice because there is less oportunity to use tilts and swings than you might think; the composition is all around you starting a few inches in front of the lens. It is a good place to make several exposures: one for near and one for far; one for highlight and one for shadow and combine them in Photoshop.

Talking myself into going again!

-- John Hennessy (, November 11, 2001.

upper antelope runs basically East/West and during the winter the sun is too far south to do much except light up the upper parts of the canyon walls. Lower antelope runs more of a N/S direction so the sun will shine in at least during mid day, giving the glow for which the canyon is famous.

-- George Stocking (, November 11, 2001.

Hey George, what's coyote like in the winter? Or some of the canyons in the Paria? I will be going around Jan to Barrier Canyon so thought I'd go by Coyote and shoot if I can get a permit. Any suggestions? James from Lee Vining.

-- bigmac (, November 11, 2001.

hey James, .........hmmm.......the buttes in winter. The Arizona Strip in winter will be COLD. It is famous for bone chilling winds. OTOH, many people have shot fine images of these places with snow.... No pain, no gain.....

-- George Stocking (, November 11, 2001.

Don't forget the presto-logs.

Sorry, thought about it all day and ultimately couldn't resist.


-- Jim Galli (, November 12, 2001.

Jim: That was very funny, I started laughing out loud with that one! Nice touch!



-- John Bailey (, November 13, 2001.


I agree completely w/ all of the responses you've had thus far. Especially the part about "COLD". VERY C O L D ! ! If it starts to rain, RUN, do not walk, out quickly.

Slide film probably not the best choice here though. Extreme contrast. WOW! 12+ stops.

I was at one of the Antelope Valley slots for 4 hrs. and still didn't expose as much film as I had wanted.

It's truley one of the most fantastically beautiful natural places I've ever seen.


S. F.

-- Steve Feldman (, November 14, 2001.

Very cruel to mention presto logs...

it is DuraFlame, light of the photographer of the Gods (appearing in a courtroom near you soon).

"Take nothing but pictures... leave nothing but footprints." Sierra Club motto

-- Dan Smith (, November 14, 2001.

Previous posts are right-on, Upper Antelope is NG in winter, sun angle too low. The Navajo do charge now, and they charge again for the ride (my only experience was this past spring at Upper) which is worth it. Many shoot Velvia, I tried it and it was ok, but I like E100SW better, the E100 series has good push (1 stop virtually unnoticed) and very good latitude. Metering will be the key, I understand that Michael Fatali, Page, AZ uses an 8x10 and Velvia. His images of the slots are among the best I've seen. Otherwise, winter up there is C*O*L*D!! Lake Powell could produce some interesting shots, if you can stay warm and out of the wind. Good luck

-- Warren Disbrow (, November 16, 2001.

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