A Victim of its Own Success…

I visited Antelope Canyon in January of this year and had the place to myself… literally, maybe 5 people walked through the place while I was there. Obviously the chill, and the lack of “sunbeams” shining through the rock formations dampens a typical tourists enthusiasm but I still found the place magical. It might very well be my favorite place to shoot. The color, texture, and beauty of the rock is simply mind shattering. It’s “unbelievable” and a must see if you are into geology that unfolds over epochs of time.

Yesterday I went back. Along with hundreds of others and true to form, the “Shafts of Light” and sunbeams didn’t disappoint. In fact, they were mesmerizing to see and watch move across the rock and sand and disappear as the sun marched on due to our planetary spin. However, the joy was short-lived as hoards of folks walked through my compositions, lifted their cameras into my view, or simply stood in my way. It was a very different experience from the Winter session just a few short months ago .

While I think this place should be seen by all, I do believe there will come a time when crowd control becomes important to preserve the “magic” of the very place everyone is there to see. Antelope has become a victim of its own popularity and success…which as a photographer I find a blessing and a sad curse. I think the world should see this magnificent place, yet I also feel that it should remain special, and not become pedestrian or abused. Tough call, no right answer I know. As a matter of fact, as a businessman, I am glad this natural formation employs all the tour operators and allows the guides to share this unique wonder and their knowledge of the area with all of us. Again, my guide Vernon was a wealth of information about the place and the Navajo Indians (who own the land the slot canyons are on) and remains an all around great guy.

Enjoy today’s image, its one of my favorites I’ve shot in a while.

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One Response to “A Victim of its Own Success…”

  1. Great, unique composition. You’ve managed to include the walls, light, sand, log, bush into frame as well as given it a very nice sense of depth.

    Agree with you as well as the place. I’ve only visited Lower Antelope Canyon in December with the place nearly to myself. I can’t begin to imagine dealing with the place in the height of tourist season. If you get the chance, try getting reservations to hike the Wave.

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