Sandstone Vortex

A scene from Lower Antelope Canyon. My wife and I had never been into any of the slot canyons until this outing. It was a bit of apprehension for us not knowing what to expect. Especially as we scaled down the few ladders into the dry wash below. My wife is extremely claustrophobic so I was already pushing the outing to the limits.
The disaster that struck this canyon only a week or so after our visit was proof enough of the lack of maneuverability or escape as it were once you were at the bottom.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

Again, as it was our first outing into any slot canyon I was looking mainly for creating just any usable keepers and with the low light & Velvia 50 I was extremely pleased with most of the results from that day.

Technical Details

Mamiya RB67 ProSD - Mamiya “C” 90mm lens - Velvia 50.


Beautiful, Paul! Love the shapes, colors and tones. Phenomenal job with the metering and getting Velvia 50 to cooperate with that dynamic range.

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Fantastic! I second Harley’s comment on managing the dynamic range. Wonderful DOF, too.

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You certainly did create a “usable keeper.” Not only beautiful, but also a perfect fit for the weekly challenge. Love the right side. It looks like a drape or curtain. Initially, I thought the sharp edges at the bottom could be a slight distraction, but not so.

Hi Paul,
that looks fantastic. I love everything about this image: composition, color, light, and sharpness.

That sounds scary. I still hope to visit this canyon myself one day.

@Mike_Friel @David_Bostock @Harley_Goldman @Diane_Miller @Jim_Gavin @Jens_Ober
Thank you for your reviews and comments on this scene deep below ground level in Lower Antelope Canyon. It was quite an early experience during my photographic adventures.

@Jens_Ober I think they have an early warning system setup these days especially for the LAC slot canyon against flash-flood issues. A week or two after my wife and I went in 11 Euro tourists perished in a downpour that was actually miles away in the foothills. But ultimately the dynamic water flows that created those slot canyons travel those same routes no matter what. Years later I recall a LF photographer from the Bay Area was also trapped in I think Buckskin Gulch with his wife and they both perished in a flash-flood too.

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Hi Paul, you had some fantastic color here. I assume you were able to use a Tripod too. It is an excellent image. Wow.

I went to Page, AZ in 2016 to photograph both upper and lower canyons. I’m also a bit touchy with heights and tight spaces. I spent several days prior to the trip psyching myself up. I did fine in the canyons, but Horseshoe Bend just gave me the spooks.

Your image prompted me to revisit my 2016 images. They were taken with a Canon 5DSR and Zeiss 15mm lens. I was on a tour that did not allow tripods so had to shoot hand held and high ISO. I decided to reprocess my images with today’s newer noise reduction technology and am very impressed and pleased. May post something in a bit.

Again, excellent image, Paul.

@David_Bostock I can relate to the heights issue. I don’t do any of that stuff at all. And yes the Horseshoe Bend would be included on that list too. I could not look over that edge for very long. It’s not the fall it’s the splat at the bottom I object to… :clown_face:
Thank you for the kind comments here, David… :sunglasses:

I don’t have a problem with leaning out of airplanes to enjoy a better view but I don’t think I could ever jump out of a perfectly good one. As our skydiving friends say, “The sky’s not the limit. The ground is.”

Paul, the colors and how the luminance changes from bottom to top make a very dynamic view. I’d say your visit was a success.

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@Mark_Seaver …Mark, thank you for the comment. To be honest I did not know the term “analogous-colors” even meant. I knew analog it was the ous that threw me… :thinking:
…anyway, the link to the color wheel was a big help… :nerd_face:


Outstanding slot image! Ranks up there with the elite slot canyon images. I don’t recall if maybe you posted this some time back, but so glad youv’e posted here now!

Beautiful - nothing to suggest and certainly no nits!


@Lon_Overacker Hi Lon, thank you very much for the review and kind comments on this image. It was a rare moment that thankfully I was able to capture at that time.
I’m sure I posted this on NPN 1 at the time. Although this was even before I knew about NPN at all as I was on Shutterpoint at the time with Marc Adamus, John Benway & Mike Dawson. I think it was Mike that got me, Marc, & John to migrate to NPN 1…the rest is history.

Lovely image Paul. I just got back from a trip in that area where I took a photo tour of Antelope X Canyon. I know they don’t allow you to carry a tripod into LAC. You did a great job with the exposure–you captured a lot of light and shadow giving the photo a lot of depth. I love the composition and the texture you captured. My eye was drawn from lower right, diagonally upward and followed the rock s lines to zig-zag up to the glow at the top . The faint vertical texture of the rock at the top carried my eye back downward allowing me to explore the whole scene.

Overall there is a sense of mystery in the image. What is beyond the glow at the top? I also pause to wonder how this was created and back in awe of Mother Nature.

Well done. Thanks for sharing.

To be honest I’m not sure. I think it leads to an opening there. I know we went into the canyon around 10am wanting as much overhead light during our August trip. It has been way too many years since I went into the LAC. In fact, at that time tripods were still allowed as I recall. With the Mamiya RB67 ProSD I’ve never taken any image off of a tripod with it’s combined weight of camera, metered prism finder, revolving film back, and any of the internally shuttered lenses… :sunglasses:
I sincerely hope you were able to come away with some real keepers from your recent rip to that area… :smiley: