Shoot the Antelope

The slot canyons near Page, Arizona belong to the Navaho Native Americans. To visit them you need a Navaho guide. So, I made a reservation for a three-hour visit. I showed up with about a dozen other people for the tour. Everyone else was a professional/fine-art photographer making the pilgrimage to Page to get the ionic shot of the sun streaming down into Antelope Canyon.

My version of the iconic photograph

To get the iconic shot, the Navaho guide picked up a hand full of sand and threw it up in the air. This set off the shaft of light just the right amount for an iconic photograph. It also put so much sand in my camera that it later took a full can of compressed air and 30 minutes to blow it all out. But what the hell, it’s an iconic shot.


There are several things to keep in mind. You need to wait until the right time (about noon) to get the iconic shot. There are electrical wires that stretch across the slot canyons from the Navaho coal-fired electricity-generating plants nearby; you will probably want to keep them out of your photos. There are a lot of people in Antelope at noon, even though access is controlled. You could get caught in a flash flood. There was one in 1997 that killed 11 people in Antelope Canyon. But what the hell, it’s an iconic shot.

I calculated with information at hand that about 17,000 professional/fine-art photographers take the iconic shot each year. That simply means if you want to achieve any photographic status more than just as a mere amateur, you will have to go to Page. No exceptions.

Author: Joseph T. Sinclair

Photographer since 1950.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: