Back From The USA

21 07 2010

Hopefully a different take on the much photographed Antelope Canyon.

Well I just got back from a fantastic family holiday in the USA…. Yup thats right not photographic holiday but family holiday.    Normally every year I go over for a big conference in the U.S. and then tack on a week of photography at the end of it to go and shoot one of the incredible National Parks in the South West.  However this year I decided to share the parks with my family.  So there was no sunrise shoots, or sunset shoots or even night shoots.  Most of the time I only pulled my camera out to shoot family shots.   Did a ton of hiking of some truly amazing trails (anybody hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion)?  Spectacular!

I did manage to snap a few shots of Antelope Canyon while visiting there with my family.  But what a zoo it was!  I couldn’t believe it.  The canyon was packed, I think they have lifted the restrictions to how many tours can go throgh upper Antelope at one time, and it was literally a zoo.  I did go with a very good photo guide called Gabriel who knew exactly when to be in different parts of the canyon to get some different effects.  This shot was one example of this.  He took us to this little compartment and explained to us that there would be a pencil thin beam of light that would come into this chamber and would last only for a few minutes.   We all set up  and pointed our cameras in the said direction and waited.  Sure enough, to the minute the beam of light appeared.  Thats what I call “local knowledge”.

Afterwards I spoke with my guide about the type of light painting and night photography that I do and it turns out that there is one guide in Antelope who is also interested in night photography and will let me into Antelope at night to do some light painting.  So as it turns out my conference next year is in Las Vegas,  so I’m going to plan my expedition around night shots of Antelope, The Wave and Bryce Canyon.

Got a few photographic projects and tutorials lined up, so you’ll see more activity from me now that I’m back.

Happy shooting




16 responses

21 07 2010
True North Mark

Welcome back Brent…we’ve been missin ya mate!

Great lead in shot to return with as well…very different!

21 07 2010

Wow… amazing shot, almost makes it look unreal.

21 07 2010

Hey Kheng

Antelope Canyon is sure an unreal place, the colour and quality of the light are quite unique. The camera picks up light casts that the eye doesn’t see. While I was shooting my wife was snapping with her Lumix LX3 snappy cam and she was getting some great shots with that.

One interesting thing is the colour temperature of the light. When I did my RAW conversion the colour temperature worked out to be 2200K which is warmer than tungsten. This is why the daylight casts such blue light in Antelope.


21 07 2010
Flemming Bo Jensen

Hi Brent, very nice work from Antelope Canyon. I photographed Lower Antelope (I think, the one you can explore on your own for free) back in May and also did a tour like you did through Upper (maybe I get them mixed up). We had a great guide too, like yours, just guiding us to the exact spots and holding people back. What I could not believe was the circus of it, people being herded through like cattle, so many people we could barely move. I only got great shots thanks to the Navajo guide. The Lower is good, you can explore for 4 hours on your own, just tell them you’re a photographer and I only met like 3 people in those 4 hours.

I find if I warm my images from the slot canyons a bit on white balance there is just so much red information as well, so much reflected sunlight that eye can’t see.

21 07 2010

Awesome picture…. I’m thinking about going to that place but in a couple of months. Hopefully it’ll be cooler and with much less tourists…
This is the advice I’ve got from one of the hotels in Page. I asked about photo shoot and they told me that now is the worst time to go there since schools have breaks and is a Summer vacation time. I wonder how’s like there in the October – November time?
Also, any advice on WB?


22 07 2010
Tim D

Hey Brent…Great to see ya back safe and sound. Sounds like you had a blast of a trip with the family which is fantastic. Love that…what a buzz it must have been to see that beam come through…am very jealous!

Catch up Soon


22 07 2010
Luke Austin

Good to hear your back. Looking forward to some images.
The blown highlight area adds to the image but at the same time is a little distracting.
There is definitely a side profile of a face with a groovy hair style on the left hand side of the light beam. Very cool.
The images you are going to get on the return light painting trip will be unique. Can’t wait for them.

22 07 2010

Fantastic shot Brent – the blue WB of the stream of light almost appears to be artificial. It almost looks like a large laser pointer. There’s a tone of shots from Antelope canyon on the web – but this is certainly very different to the marjority of them!

I can’t wait to get there one day!

23 07 2010

Nice work for a family holiday! I usually don’t get to setup the tripod on a family holiday. Heck I don’t even bring it. Really nice shot and the local guide certainly paid off big time here! Well done.

24 07 2010

Hey Greg

Yes, it should be much quieter in Oct/Nov. Also if you are not shooting to get the light beams at noon it is much quieter.

Regarding white balance, just shoot on RAW and then experiment. You can get some dramatically different effects depending on whether you want to balance higher to emphasise the reds, or lower to emphasise the daylight blues. No special techniques at capture unless you are either shooting film or jpeg.


24 07 2010

Hi Brent,
Do you have any pics from Utah?
How about the Monument Valley? Did you take any pics there?
I’m thinking about going there and to the Horseshoe Bend of Colorado River place, which is so close to Page. (and Antelope Canyon)
Funny, after I saw your pic I’ve got motivated (more) to go there…
BTW, I found flights from LAX to Page, AZ for about $250 round trip in Oct.

25 07 2010
Sandy @ Shots

Love this shot Brent….as soon as I saw it I thought of a light sabre…are you sure Obi Wan Kenobi wasn’t standing at the top of the canyon?

6 08 2010

Angel’s Landing is great….a much-do or anyone wanting to experience Zion Nation Park. Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself on this side of the puddle.


10 08 2010
Rod Thomas

Angels Landing is awesome.. im thinking about going back next year mate but this time goign rite out to the end of it all… i had too much gear with me last time…..

Zion is an amazing place.. Flemming, if u read this, go back and find the guy who told u to give Zion a miss…. hes mad ! !


10 08 2010


Angels landing is amazing…. you definitely want to travel light when hiking that bugger!!! It is one of the most stunning and demanding hikes I have ever done.


13 08 2010
Rod Thomas

I had my linhof 617, d300 ( back in the days when I was a little groggy ) tripod on the back, lenses and all my other stuff… next time, its just 5dMKII, 17-40 lens and my tripod.

You should have taken your daredevil family through the subway while you were there, it it the best hike I have ever done, from top to bottom, AMAZING ! !

I am wanting to head there again sept next year I think, get a bit of fall colour in he gorges and by the river streams… I love it there

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