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Old 30th of May 2011 (Mon)   #1
paul3221
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Default Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

Hi all,

I am heading up to Page, AZ in a couple weeks and want to maximize my time there. I am looking to capture the deep, rich colors that you see in some photos of Antelope. A lot of purples, blues, reds, etc. I've already got the obligatory light beam from a previous trip.

Does anyone know the best way to achieve this? Is it dependent on time of day? Time of year? Length of exposure? Is it just a matter of finding darker sections without direct light? Would a Polarizing filter help or hinder it? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Like I said, I want to maximize my time, and make sure I come out with some great shots. 2 hrs isn't a ton of time to figure it out by trial and error...

Thanks,
Paul
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Old 30th of May 2011 (Mon)   #2
sulli.gibson
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

I'm pretty sure it's midday long exposures, but I'm sure others will chime in with more details.
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Old 30th of May 2011 (Mon)   #3
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

Been there too many moons ago (2004?). I did not find anything abnormal about shooting down in the canyon. Just watch what you metering off of and enjoy the views. Each part is different, but there seems to be a spot where the light shines through a hole at the right time (I think about 10AM) that illuminates the cavern. I don't think a polarizer buys you much down there. Have fun!
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Old 30th of May 2011 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

Brackett your exposures by 2 stops. HDR's work especially well here. Long shutters pull the colors out of the sandstone.
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Old 31st of May 2011 (Tue)   #5
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

I usually shoot at f11 to f16, with shutter speed around 30 seconds, no filters, auto WB. When converting from RAW, you have the opportunity to modify the exposure to suit your taste. I've done very little with color temp, but enough to see you can get a wide range of color by altering the temp. I try to avoid over exposing the lighted areas and will usually crop out those I do get. That means keeping the sky out of the scene. for the most part.
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Old 31st of May 2011 (Tue)   #6
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

Thanks for all the tips so far guys.

Sparker1: Nice gallery! Very well laid out. Lower Antelope #19 is a lot like what I am hoping to capture...
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Old 31st of May 2011 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul3221 View Post
Thanks for all the tips so far guys.

Sparker1: Nice gallery! Very well laid out. Lower Antelope #19 is a lot like what I am hoping to capture...
Thanks, Paul. Looking back, my first time there I used a lot of wider aperture and faster shutter. It's hard to tell in the smaller photos, but I think the smaller aperture shots from my second visit have better detail.
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Old 31st of May 2011 (Tue)   #8
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

I was there in December of last year and was successful getting a wide range of saturated colors. I used ISO setting L (ISO 50) and shot at very small apertures (f/16 and f/22) maximizing the length of shutter speed. I also shot as under exposed as I could without loosing data on the histogram allowing me to shoot at even slower shutter speeds knowing that since I shot in RAW I could fix the exposure in post. In post all that was really necessary to bring the colors out was a bit of contrast tweaking. I was there between 10am and 2pm and had wonderful indirect light through out the canyon. After a few photos you will get the hang of how the color of the rock will be represented in your camera. Look for shadows (albiet slight ones since you will be shooting in indirect light) they will be where you get your purples and blue hues.

In my experience, it seems the longer you can leave the shutter open the more saturated the colors will become.

This was my favorite Lower Antelope Canyon shot from my trip.
http://christophernowakphotography.com/colors

Oh one last tip. Be sure to have an extra battery since you will be shooting lots of very long exposure shots. Long exposure shots drain batteries quickly!
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Old 31st of May 2011 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

I'd go Aperture Priority and let the shutter speed do what it wants (on a tripod, of course.)

My shutter speeds varied from around 1 second to 6+ seconds depending on what was in the frame:
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Old 31st of May 2011 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

Great shots guys. That's exactly the sort of stuff I want to get. What lens is best? ! was thinking of using my 10-22mm, but I have a number of other lenses that I could use. One thing I do know for certain is that I don't want to be changing lenses anywhere near the canyon. On my previous trip with the point and shoot, I had fine sand and dust on and in everything by the time I left...
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Old 31st of May 2011 (Tue)   #11
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

I would definitely go with your 10-22 while in the canyon. I shot exclusively with my 17-40 f/4 lens while in the canyon. I did manage to get a little sand under the focus ring so when I turn it you can hear grinding but it does not affect the use of the lens so be careful with whatever lens you choose to take.

Last edited by nowakchr : 31st of May 2011 (Tue) at 20:27.
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Old 31st of May 2011 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

The hardest problem that you are going to have is keeping other tourists out of your pictures.



Sorry about the low IQ, this picture was scanned from a negative.
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Old 31st of May 2011 (Tue)   #13
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nowakchr View Post
I would definitely go with your 10-22 while in the canyon. I shot exclusively with my 17-40 f/4 lens while in the canyon. I did manage to get a little sand under the focus ring so when I turn it you can hear grinding but it does not affect the use of the lens so be careful with whatever lens you choose to take. I would definitely go with your 10-22 while in the canyon.
I agree on the 10-22, altho a 24-105 would allow some closeups. Still, I'd go with one lens and not change. You might consider one lens for one way, go outside to change lenses (if no wind), then return through the canyon with a different lens and look for different compositions. Wish I had thought of that before going there.
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Old 3rd of June 2011 (Fri)   #14
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

I know that this is a digital photography forum, but has anyone shot film in Antelope or similar canyons? I also have a medium format film camera that I am going to bring to try to get some shots, but I know some films perform better in different lighting than others. I have Velvia 100, Ektar 100, and Porta VC 400. Obviously I won't have the luxury of instant feedback like I do with digital, so any advice prior to going would be helpful...
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Old 4th of June 2011 (Sat)   #15
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Default Re: Tips for rich colors in Antelope Canyon?

Velvia would be my choice. Never shot it in MF but loved it in 35mm for landscapes.
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