It's no secret that the Southwestern United States is home to some of the world's most spectacular slot canyons. These cavernous beauties fill onlookers with endless wonder and amazement. However, one canyon stands out above the rest, and has captured the interest of many photographers worldwide including Peter Lik among several other notable names. Antelope Canyon, located in Northern Arizona undoubtedly makes the ideal nature photography subject.
A Unique Pairing of Sandstone and Slot Canyons
Five slot canyon sections make up the massive landmark known as Antelope Canyon. The most well known canyons are Upper Antelope and Lower Antelope, both of which are situated on Navajo Land.
UPPER ANTELOPE CANYON
Upper Antelope Canyon requires minimal climbing and scrambling, making it accessible to most abilities and therefore, a very popular tourist attraction. While Upper Antelope Canyon is arguably the most accessible portion of the canyon range, you will definitely not be alone in your pursuit of some of the most stunning views on the planet.
LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON
Lower Antelope Canyon, on the other hand, trails deep into the cavernous canyon range, leading along a path that roughly follows a "V" pattern in terms of distance from the surface. While the trek is more arduous, fewer people visit, making Lower Antelope Canyon a more peaceful experience with less view interference and a greater variety of unobstructed photo ops.
The highlight of your visit, to Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, or the other surrounding beautiful slot canyons will be the stunning light beams streaming through the canyon in isolated rays that seemingly pierce straight through the towering sandstone walls to the coral colored ground below. In order to visit either canyon, you must be accompanied by a Navajo guide, and there are many tours companies in Page, Arizona to choose from.
Picture Perfect For Fine Art Prints and Wall Art
For decades, photographers have been especially enamored with Antelope Canyon, and for good reason. As a matter of fact, one shot in particular, Phantom by Photographer Peter Lik from within the canyon was ranked amongst the most expensive prints ever sold.
With endless stunning landscapes and slot canyons dotting the landscape of the American Southwest, why are folks behind the camera so obsessed with Antelope Canyon? The answer lies in the shafts of light, or light beams that stream through the cracks in the towering sandstone walls. When observed from the bottom of the canyon, the contrast between the lengthening shadows and strong beams of light create an almost otherworldly environment.
Bright light encircled by curious shadows creeping around the edges, make the light beams of Antelope Canyon an undeniable draw to a viewer's eye. While placing the light in a viewer's peripheral vision on the outskirts of the frame might create a sense of mystery or imply a spiritual presence, photographs where the light is centered offer a more aesthetically pleasing composition. Looking up from the coral colored sand floor of the canyon creates an equally mesmerizing perspective as the curves of the canyon walls form a perfect frame through which to view the blue sky above.
Interesting Shapes and Intoxicating Curves
Curves and leading lines which are plentiful in the canyon walls create an intoxicating opposition to straight lines created by the beams of light. This contrast gives the viewer a clear focal point amongst the sharp edges of light, while the many twists and turns of the canyon walls invite the eye to explore further.
Due to the Earth's axis tilt, light beams in Antelope Canyon are only visible through the spring, summer, and early autumn months. However, the wide range of colors found in the canyon create exciting subjects and stunning compositions in winter as well. The reflection of the sun on the surface of the sandstone in Upper Antelope Canyon creates bright red, deep blue and rich maroon hues on the canyon walls.
The endless variety of compositions created by the shapes, colors and depth of the Antelope Canyons make them the perfect subject for fine wall art. No matter your decor, a large format fine art print can make any room or space show-home worthy. Much like the canyons, the choices are endless, and yours to explore!!
Antelope Canyon Wall Art - Ryan Smith Fine Art
No matter when you choose to visit, photographing Antelope Canyon is a truly rewarding adventure!!
Be sure to check out some of my favorite fine art pieces and learn more about how these one-of-a-kind Antelope Canyon fine art prints are created!!