The past few months have been full of adventure and photography… and this last week was no exception. The Page, Arizona area is a gold mine for those two things and we made the most of it for sure. The two places that took priority during our stay were Antelope Canyon, which is easy to get to, and the Wave, which is not.
We tackled the Wave first. In order to get there, you have to show up, first thing in the morning, at the land management office the day before you ideally want to go. There may be anywhere between 50 and 100 people trying to get a permit. 10 people get chosen, via a lottery system. Luck was on our side that morning, because our number got chosen, and we were on for the next day!
After scoring permits, getting to the Wave is still a commitment. It's a 3-mile hike, each way, and since they don't want just anyone to be able to go, there's no trail. You get a printout with landmarks and directions, but that's it. And each person needs to carry a gallon of water on them, in addition to any camera gear you might need. It's all worth it though, because the Wave is unlike any place I've ever seen. It's hard to even do it justice with photos. We spent several hours there, photographing and exploring the surrounding areas. By the time we finally got back to the car, we were both completely zapped.
Next stop in the Page area was Antelope Canyon. We wanted to see both the upper and lower canyons, and set off to the lower first. Lower Antelope Canyon was more pleasant to shoot, because there weren't insane amounts of people. We got photo passes, and had to deal with a handful of people, but nothing to complain about. The light was great, and we spent about two hours there. Upper Antelope was a very different experience. It's this site where you see those beautiful beams of light coming down onto the sand, and it makes for iconic photos. However, the amount of people here was astronomical. I've never seen anything like it. There were hundreds of people, and even the people on the photography tour were herded around like cattle and told exactly what to shoot. It was very paint-by-numbers, and not our style at all. We'll have to return on the off-season for a better shooting experience. The place was still crazy to see though.
We also visited the Toadstool Hoodoos, which was a shorter hike, and it turned out to be great for sunset. Horseshoe Bend was also a stop, and we went there for sunset as well. That's a nice place to shoot, because it's a short hike and, although there are a lot of people there, they're not going to get into your shots, as you're shooting off a cliff.
We stayed in the Lake Powell RV Park, which was great. We had access to the whole park and the rest of the Lake Powell Resort. We actually rented a boat on the last day to explore the canyons from a different vantage point. The weather was perfect, and it was great being on the water.
I love light painting, and I've been interested in getting into other kinds of night photography as well. We were parked at the Lake Powell campground, which got quite dark at night, so I tried out a star trail image mixed with a little light painting.
Though we could have stayed in the area much longer, it was time to move on, yet again. Next stop: Vegas. I have to fly out to teach an in-house seminar, and we have friends in the Vegas area. More to come…