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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 03 Jan 2018 (Wednesday) 09:17
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Advice needed for Grand Canyon trip

 
fishbio
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Jan 03, 2018 09:17 |  #1

My family and I will be traveling to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon this March. This will be our first visit to the area. We will be flying into Phoenix and renting a car. We would also like to visit the Page (Horseshoe Bend, etc.) and Sedona areas. I am mainly interested in shooting interesting landscapes, including as many sunrise/sunsets as I can.

I would like some advice on how to split our time to maximize photo opportunities. We have a total of seven nights to spend in the area and I've already booked the first two nights in the Grand Canyon. Should I book a third night at the canyon? How would you split seven nights between GC, Page, and Sedona? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!


John
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jan 03, 2018 15:34 |  #2

Did almost this exact trip last Spring. PM me and I can supply more details.




  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jan 04, 2018 03:20 |  #3

Google "Grand Canyon Photography" for some photography based tips like the two below.

https://www.outdoorpho​tographer.com …ips-for-the-grand-canyon/ (external link)

https://loadedlandscap​es.com …canyon-photography-guide/ (external link)




  
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Wilt
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Jan 04, 2018 10:20 |  #4

With only a week in AZ I would leave out the trip to Page...you would be spending about 7 hours just in driving time (roundtrip) going to Page from South Rim of Grand Canyon, in addition to the 8-9 hour roundtrip from Phoenix to GC. If you had 8-10 days in AZ, I would be less hesitant to visit Page, as the Glen Canyon dam tour and the Antelope Canyon slot canyon trips on foot or on a boat on Lake Powell are worthwhile visits.
With 7 hours less driving, that allows a bit more leisurely pace for GC and for Sedona, plus time to poke around Phoenix environs.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jan 04, 2018 11:00 |  #5

Wilt wrote in post #18533192 (external link)
With only a week in AZ I would leave out the trip to Page...you would be spending about 7 hours just in driving time (roundtrip) going to Page from South Rim of Grand Canyon, in addition to the 8-9 hour roundtrip from Phoenix to GC. If you had 8-10 days in AZ, I would be less hesitant to visit Page, as the Glen Canyon dam tour and the Antelope Canyon slot canyon trips on foot or on a boat on Lake Powell are worthwhile visits.
With 7 hours less driving, that allows a bit more leisurely pace for GC and for Sedona, plus time to poke around Phoenix environs.

Wilt makes a good point with respect to Page, reinforced at https://www.tripadviso​r.com …ational_Park_Ar​izona.html (external link), but I would not spend any time "poking around the Phoenix environs." Having done this trip twice in the last two years, I can say the sooner you leave Phoenix the better. As a starter, the traffic is horrendous!




  
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fishbio
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Jan 04, 2018 13:32 |  #6

Wilt wrote in post #18533192 (external link)
With only a week in AZ I would leave out the trip to Page...you would be spending about 7 hours just in driving time (roundtrip) going to Page from South Rim of Grand Canyon, in addition to the 8-9 hour roundtrip from Phoenix to GC. If you had 8-10 days in AZ, I would be less hesitant to visit Page, as the Glen Canyon dam tour and the Antelope Canyon slot canyon trips on foot or on a boat on Lake Powell are worthwhile visits.
With 7 hours less driving, that allows a bit more leisurely pace for GC and for Sedona, plus time to poke around Phoenix environs.

Thanks for your input, Wilt. Our current plan is to stay the first three nights at GC, then probably two nights each at Page and Sedona. I would like to photograph Horseshoe Bend, and possibly Antelope Canyon, although I'm not sure the I want to deal with the crowd at Antelope.


John
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fishbio
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Jan 04, 2018 13:41 |  #7

John from PA wrote in post #18533221 (external link)
Wilt makes a good point with respect to Page, reinforced at https://www.tripadviso​r.com …ational_Park_Ar​izona.html (external link), but I would not spend any time "poking around the Phoenix environs." Having done this trip twice in the last two years, I can say the sooner you leave Phoenix the better. As a starter, the traffic is horrendous!

Our flight is scheduled to land in Phoenix at about 11:00 am. According to Mapquest, we will have about a four hour drive from the airport to South Rim GC. I'm a little worried about traffic delays getting out of Phoenix. Hopefully things will go smoothly and we will get to the canyon well before dark.


John
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited 7 months ago by John from PA.
     
Jan 04, 2018 15:01 |  #8

fishbio wrote in post #18533362 (external link)
Our flight is scheduled to land in Phoenix at about 11:00 am.

That time of day you should have heavy but well moving traffic. Probably with in about 20 miles you should be moving at the speed limit +++ and on your way.




  
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davinci953
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Jan 04, 2018 15:04 |  #9

fishbio wrote in post #18533362 (external link)
Our flight is scheduled to land in Phoenix at about 11:00 am. According to Mapquest, we will have about a four hour drive from the airport to South Rim GC. I'm a little worried about traffic delays getting out of Phoenix. Hopefully things will go smoothly and we will get to the canyon well before dark.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the traffic at that time of the day. There's going to be traffic (just because it's Phoenix), but it doesn't start to get really heavy until about 3:00 pm. Just get onto I-17 and head north as soon as you can.




  
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Post edited 7 months ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
Jan 04, 2018 18:42 as a reply to  @ fishbio's post |  #10

If you do not take the 'official guided tours' of Antelope Canyon, you can save tremendous $$$ over the 'photographer tours' and encounter virtually no crowds by driving to Navajo-operated tours at the cave entrances. Simply drive to intersection of Hwy 98 and Indian Road 222 (which goes to a marina on Lake Powell), and on IR22 a short distance from the junction on the left side of the road (heading toward the lake) will be the wood buildings of two competing Navajo-led tours of the slot canyon. We went to the business on the left (looking from the road) and were thoroughly delighted by our tour guide, a grandmother named Daisy (who herself was having fun taking photos in the ever changing slot canyon)

Daisy guiding tour thru slot canyon

IMAGE: http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/POTN%202013%20Post%20Mar1/SlotCanyon-2585_zpsnu2oiwel.jpg

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fishbio
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Jan 04, 2018 20:53 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #18533570 (external link)
If you do not take the 'official guided tours' of Antelope Canyon, you can save tremendous $$$ over the 'photographer tours' and encounter virtually no crowds by driving to Navajo-operated tours at the cave entrances. Simply drive to intersection of Hwy 98 and Indian Road 222 (which goes to a marina on Lake Powell), and on IR22 a short distance from the junction will be the wood buildings of two competing Navajo-led tours of the slot canyon.

Thanks Wilt. That sounds like a great plan.


John
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Sibil
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Jan 05, 2018 06:16 |  #12

Some great info in this thread.




  
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fishbio
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Jan 06, 2018 08:38 |  #13

Wilt wrote in post #18533570 (external link)
If you do not take the 'official guided tours' of Antelope Canyon, you can save tremendous $$$ over the 'photographer tours' and encounter virtually no crowds by driving to Navajo-operated tours at the cave entrances. Simply drive to intersection of Hwy 98 and Indian Road 222 (which goes to a marina on Lake Powell), and on IR22 a short distance from the junction on the left side of the road (heading toward the lake) will be the wood buildings of two competing Navajo-led tours of the slot canyon. We went to the business on the left (looking from the road) and were thoroughly delighted by our tour guide, a grandmother named Daisy (who herself was having fun taking photos in the ever changing slot canyon)

Daisy guiding tour thru slot canyon
QUOTED IMAGE

We will likely be in Page around March 9-10, which apparently is a little too early in the year to see light beams in the upper canyon. I am fine with missing the beams, but I am curious about the light levels in the canyon. Should we visit around midday, when light levels are greater? I am willing to go either early or late in the day (to avoid crowds) as long as light levels are adequate. I'll have a 6D with 16-35L f4. Will I be able to take a tripod, or will I have to shoot handheld? Thanks!


John
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Wilt
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Jan 06, 2018 16:25 as a reply to  @ fishbio's post |  #14

When we went to Page, we weren't on an intense photography trip, I only carried my Canon S95 along and played snapshooter for the most part. The S95 is limited to ISO 1600 for reasonable high ISO, and I got along just fine without higher ISO nor a tripod. So if you bring a dSLR from the last few years, with its five-digit ISO capability, I think you would be fine. You do not have endless amounts of time for setting up and taking down tripods, especially if you need to wait your turn after another tripod-lugging photographer; and while you might not be rushed along, you don't have too much idle time before the group moves on to the next point.


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davinci953
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Post edited 7 months ago by davinci953.
     
Jan 06, 2018 17:01 |  #15

fishbio wrote in post #18534776 (external link)
We will likely be in Page around March 9-10, which apparently is a little too early in the year to see light beams in the upper canyon. I am fine with missing the beams, but I am curious about the light levels in the canyon. Should we visit around midday, when light levels are greater? I am willing to go either early or late in the day (to avoid crowds) as long as light levels are adequate. I'll have a 6D with 16-35L f4. Will I be able to take a tripod, or will I have to shoot handheld? Thanks!

I'm not recommending the following tour company, but they require a tripod on some of the tours. Some of the information on the web site might be helpful for you. A friend passed along the information a few months ago when I was planning a trip to northern Arizona. I didn't have time for the canyons, so I don't have personal experience with the company. The reviews overall are positive. There are also some negative reviews that seem to be somewhat consistent in what they're reporting. Sometimes it comes down to the tour guide that you're with who can make or break the experience.

https://www.navajoante​lopecanyon.com/Photo.a​sp (external link)




  
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Advice needed for Grand Canyon trip
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