If you happen to find yourself anywhere near the Grand Canyon, it is worth it to take one of the Antelope Canyon photo tours of this natural wonder.
Located near the town of Page, Arizona at Lake Powell, this very narrow, stunning slot canyon is one of the must see natural wonders of the world.
As we took our road trip through the South Western United States, we definitely made a point of putting Antelope Canyon as one of our must stop destinations.
Antelope Canyon Photography Tour
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When taking photos of Antelope Canyon, there is a lot of pressure on the photographer. There is a short window of light, the canyon itself is very dark so you have to take very long exposures and it is extremely crowded with people.
You cannot visit Antelope Canyon on your own due to the dangers of flash floods.
Several tourists have been killed in the past including eleven people on August 12, 1997. It is now forbidden for anyone to enter the canyon solo so it is important book a photography tour ahead of time.
You have seconds at a time to take your photograph while your guide hold’s back the crowds. There isn’t time for second guessing yourself or your photography skills.
Why Take a Photography Tour to Antelope Canyon
People are impatient and want to move on. You have your one moment to grab the shot, or nothing. You can only see the canyon on a tour with a guide so there is no way to try to explore it on your own during a lesser crowded time of day.
Tours fill up quickly, and if you like taking photographs, make sure to book a photography tour.
If you are not on a photography tour, you will not be allowed to stop for photos the way that the photographers do.
The photography tours are given priority and are allowed to walk back and forth through the canyon as opposed to the regular tours that are only allowed one pass.
Even on the photography tour, you will not have a lot of time or room to take your shots.
The canyon is packed with people, and groups only get a few minutes in each section to snap their photos before moving on to the next section.
Antelope Canyon Photography Advice
My advice is “Know your camera well” There is a lot of pressure to take photographs quickly and efficiently.
Any hesitation will cause you to miss the moment.
The best time of day to go is in the morning during the 10:30 tour.
There is only one time of the day that the sun beams shoot through from above and you have a total of 10 minutes maximum to capture as many photos as you can.
Bring a tripod and be prepared to have a lot of people get in your way and try to oust you from for your spot.
I found that by keeping my camera low to the ground and pointing straight up, I could capture many images without having too many heads pop into my photos.
Learn Your Camera Before Going to Antelope Canyon
If you don’t know your camera well, you will come out of Antelope Canyon with a bunch of shots that are blurry and a mess.
Our guide Rob did an amazing job keeping people out of our frames and all of the guides work together to hold up groups so that the sun beams are kept free and clear.
But be warned, they can only hold people back for so long, so you have to take your photos very quickly.
Booking your Antelope Canyon Tour
We booked our tour with Antelope Slot Canyon Tours for $80 per person. You are driven out to the canyon in a group of 12 people maximum and your guide takes you through the canyon setting you up in the best places for the right shots.
Stay close to your guide and don’t stop to take photos along the way. He knows the best spots and if you stay near the front of the group and listen to his advice, you will walk away with amazing shots like the one above.
I even managed to take incredible iPhone photos (the pressure of taking photographs on my DSLR was too much for me, so I switched to iPhone only) I was like half of our group and not confident enough to be able to capture photos in the short window of time.
I did carry a camera with a tripod. I hear that you are not allowed to join a photo tour if you are only using a tripod. I had every intention of taking professional photos on my DSLR, but I gave up. this is what I got!
A trip to Antelope Canyon is definitely worth the hype. Even a visit to simply see it is extraordinary. We highly recommend taking the photography tour to maximize the experience.