- By Kevin
- On Jun 1, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
Some things you should to know about visiting and photographing Antelope Canyon with the Antelope Canyon tours. I consider myself an “enthusiastic amateur” photographer based purely on the idea for that title that just popped into my head. So feel free to take my advice with a grain of sand salt. But if you like how my photos turned out then this information should be helpful.
If you are going to Upper, then I highly recommend a photography tour. The main reason is that there are so many people in that canyon — especially during peak hours — that you will struggle to find room to set up for shots and struggle even harder to keep others out of your pictures. Also, most guides don’t allow others on non-photography tours to use tripods, so there’s goes your chance at getting professional-quality shots.
I chose Adventurous Antelope Canyon for my photography tour. Now the photography tours are expensive but worth it. Our guide was a youngster but he did a great job of keeping everyone else back and out of our shots. He also directed us on where to set up for the shots. Without him telling everyone to stay back, I don’t know how I could have gotten half the shots I did. The guide also gave us some good tips on shooting in there.
I only had two real complaints with the tour. First, our tour guide initially told us “no taking HDRs,” presumably because it would slow down the tour. I’d paid wayyy too much money to be told I couldn’t shoot HDRs, so I ended up shooting them anyway. My second issue was just the nature of the tour. It’s quite hectic (more on that below).
Overall, I still had a great experience and I highly recommend AAC tours. Note: I’m not affiliated with AAC in any way.
If you scheduled a photography tour with Upper Antelope, you will have to bring your tripod and your DSLR. For lenses, try to stick to one wide-angle lens. There’s a ton of sand floating around down there and it’s all looking to land itself in the little cracks of your camera so try to stick to one lens. Also, if you’re on a photography tour, it will be a hassle changing lenses more than once. That said, if you really just have to use two lenses it’s doable (I had at least one person in my group do so). Just take extra precautions to keep the sand out and not to waste time.
If you’re planning a trip with your partner and he/she doesn’t have a DSLR/tripod you are kind of stuck. In my case, I called the tour company and told them my situation and they said it’d be okay for my partner to come along and shoot with just an iPhone (as long as I payed full-price for another spot). But when I arrived to sign in they asked for his DSLR and I had to reason with them for us to be able to go on the tour. I understand them wanting to reserve spots for serious photographers only but you’d think they’d have options for partners/assistants or at least be consistent with their customers. Aside from that mix-up everything went just fine, though.