View Full Version : Antelope Canyon the newbie way
21st of March 2008 (Fri), 06:34
Hi, I'm new at photography and was wondering about a low light situation( I think). I'm going to Antelope Canyon and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what exposure I should use. I have a Canon D40 and will be taking 17-55ef and a 28-105ef canon lenses. I have heard that I should take a tripod for long exposures. Has anyone been there and can tell me what to expect? Would appreciate any help. Thanks
21st of March 2008 (Fri), 06:58
Tripod is must for Antelope canyon. It's not really dark inthere, but it's still dark enough, that you won't be able to do anything without tripod. Next to that, 17-55 lens will be enough for this. You don't need much longer. I survived easily with 17-40 and 28-70.
Another suggestion... go to Lower Antelope canyon. It's not as popular as Upper one, and you don't need to be in organized tours. We just paid to one of locals on parking place, and he guided us to entrance and left us alone. So we had all the time we wanted :) On Upper one you are not allowed to wander around on your own, at least so I heard, so it's not so great if you want to take time and get some nice photos. And you do have endless opportunity for great photos. Some of mine are here (http://www.photo.si/advanced_search1.php?searchtype1=caption&condition1=like&searchstring1=antelope_canyon&andor1=and&searchtype2=category&condition2=like&searchstring2=n&andor2=&searchtype3=&condition3=&searchstring3=&lenb=0).
21st of March 2008 (Fri), 07:28
If you have the time, do both Upper and Lower. Upper is a guided tour...that being said, don't let that dissuade you. There are sightseeing tours, as well as tours that are specifically for photography. The photo tour guides all work well together, and they stagger the start times so everyone has the chance to get their shots. They are both very different canyons, which is why I'd recommend both. You will definitely need a tripod, as some of the exposures can be fairly long. I'd also suggest bracketing your photos to avoid blowing out the highlights. You also don't want to change lenses in this environment...lots of people kicking up dust. I generally do not use a UV filter, but I did in the canyon. I stuck with a 17-40L lens on my 5D for the entire time...the wide angle is needed for most shots. The 17-55 may not be wide enough on a crop camera...if you can borrow or rent a 10-xx (Sigma or Canon) it may serve you better. The again, the focal length will also depend on the composition that you had in mind and also on the contours of the canyon (upper is fairly high and narrow, for instance). Your position in the canyon will also yield different color palettes as well. To give you an idea, here's two from the upper canyon that were taken on the same day:
Horseshoe Bend is nearby...just about 5 minutes south of Page...very easy to get to. Also, the Wave formation is about 30 minutes north of Page, but you need a permit to enter the area (also, can be difficult to hike to depending on the temperature). BLM limits it to no more than twenty people per day. You can apply on-line for a lottery chance for a permit, or you can arrive at the Ranger station and hope for the best. I lucked out in the on-line lottery (but you need to enter the lottery about 4 months prior to your visit...1 month for folks to get their entries in, then the winners are drawn 3 months prior. This allow you plenty of time to make alternate plans if you don't get selected.
21st of March 2008 (Fri), 15:18
Helpful tips guys...I am planning to go there too. (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=473378) Thanks
22nd of March 2008 (Sat), 02:10
Thanks so much, everyone. Really helpful information. I missed the lottery drawing on The Wave, well for the next 3 months anyway. So maybe next time. One other question ...if I may.. I have a canon rebel Xti of which I had a R- 1 remote control. Will that remote work with the D40, or will I have to purchase another one?
Again thanks so much for the replys. Fantastic pics Argyle
22nd of March 2008 (Sat), 02:20
Just now noticed your forward to your pictures. Wow , great shots, . Did you use a remote control release or remote switch? Don't know if I have time to order one before I go for the D40. We going to head for Lower Antelope first and then upper. Thanks for the tips.
22nd of March 2008 (Sat), 02:54
Have a gander here:
I'm pretty happy with the results I got when I was up there last September.
+1 for Horse Shoe Bend as well...
[Edit] Forgot to mention that when I went, I did Lower Antelope Canyon and the Native Americans on duty that day gave me a pass that let me stay down for up to four hours without the need for a guide. I passed several tours that day and they seemed to be hustling right along. The only downer was that the deepest 1/3 or so of the canyon was closed due to recent flooding. I ended up with mud up to my ankles becaue I just had to go that one extra yard...LOL Just be prepared to do some scrambling over rocks and squeeze through some pretty tight places. I'd consider just taking your camera, WA lens, tripod and get a cable release as well. I only wore a butt bag with a couple bottles of water, a rocket blower and lens brush (lot of dust down there) and some moist towlettes for cleaning my hands) It was a gas!
22nd of March 2008 (Sat), 04:28
I used cable remote, but for this, you can do without it too. Exposure times were normally between 1 and 5sec, so you can survive without cable remote. To avoid camera shake when pressing shutter button, set camera to timer, and it will do about same as cable remote will. It's a bit less comfortable, but it does its job.
22nd of March 2008 (Sat), 08:17
I used a remote release and I really recommend it, along with using mirror lock up. This will allow the vibrations to settle out before opening the shutter. Any time that you have to set your hands back on the camera during a long exposure, you'll run the risk of movement. I was using an f16 aperture and kept my ISO at 100, and some of my exposures were in the 20-second range, and some slightly less that that. You need to be aware that depending on the time of year, the canyon will be fairly crowded...using the remote with MLU, you're able to release the shutter whenever you want, so if someone walks into the frame you can wait for them to exit your FOV; with the timer, you'd have to cancel the exposure or end up catching a stranger in your picture. A remote cable and a good, high-quality multicoated filter will be a good investment for such a trip.
Also, bring along a rocket blower and a small pocket-sized flashlight so you can check your settings in the dim/dark light.
Lastly, if you do make it down to Horseshoe Bend, you'd need the wide angle lens (10-xx) that mentioned in my earlier post in order to capture the width of the canyon and both sides of the river (24mm at the very most, but 21mm would be better)...if not, your only option would be to take a few pics and stitch them together. The best time for Horseshoe Bend is between the hours of 12-2pm...outside those times, you'll be fighting shadows, etc. This shot of the bend was taken with a 5D and fisheye...I also used the 17-40L. Unfortunately, your 17-55 and the 28-105 wouldn't do you much good at this location (unless you don't mind the stitching option).
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