I’m currently on vacation on the island of Maui. Each time I come to the Islands I hope to get a chance to shoot the Milky Way from atop Haleakala, weather and moon permitting. Well once again, it hasn’t worked out because I’m here during a full moon phase. I decided to make the best […]
A few years ago I took a photography workshop by LeRoy DeJolie. LeRoy is a native Navajo indian and creates wonderful images, mostly with large format cameras. Since then a friend and I have hired LeRoy on a private basis to take us to places most people can’t get to, or at least not easily. The highlight of the workshop for me was the visit to lower Antelope Canyon. It’s truly an amazing place, pictures and words don’t begin to describe it. The Canyons are on Navajo land so you have to pay to get access. I believe the cost back then was around $25. We weren’t part of a tour and I think we were limited to 3 hours in the canyon. I understand now they ask if you have a mirrorless camera and if not, you have to take one of the tours. I’m not quite sure what the logic is, but I assume it has something to do with having a “professional” camera. There can be lots of people in the canyon, so be prepared to wait to get your shot. You definitely need a tripod and I would recommend something to cover your camera, because it can get quite dusty down there. I wouldn’t recommend changing lenses while in the Canyon. Lower Antelope Canyon is about a quarter of a mile long. The entrance is a sloping stroll and then once you’re in the canyon is fairly easy to get around, though there are some very tight squeezes in some sections. The exit at the far end is a very steep ladder, or you can turn around and go back to the entrance.
There are a plethora of shots to be had in the Canyon. I can’t imagine any two shots being the same. You’ll want to visit the Canyon sometime in late morning to early afternoon so the sun illuminates the upper part of the Canyon depending on the time of year. I probably took about a hundred photos and I kept about a third of those. I had so many it was difficult to pick my favorite, but after reviewing the images a few years later, I think this is my favorite. I really like the contrast and the wonderful colors.
If you are looking for a great workshop, I highly recommend photography workshops led by LeRoy. You can find his workshops on the Arizona Highways site, or dejolie.com.
On Saturday evening, just before we were going to head out to Rhyolite, a ghost town near the Nevada border, a thunderstorm rolled in. Of course being photographers we saw lots of photo opportunities, one of them capturing lightning, not exactly an easy thing to do. You never know when it is going to occur where it will be in the sky. We all ran off to our rooms to grab our cameras and tripods and set up in a line outside our rooms. I’m sure the other guests thought we wacky, but we were excited and having a good time.
I shoot with a Nikon and I used the following exposure settings in manual mode; ISO200, 15 second shutter speed at f9. I also used auto white balance. I set up the intervalometer on the camera to pause for 2 seconds between shots. If you have a Canon or another brand, you may need to use a remote shutter release/intervalometer. I got lucky! I captured a wonderful lightning bolt, even the framing was perfect.
Thanks for reading! – Jim