Last spring I spent 5 days in Northern Arizona with my camera club buddies. It has taken me a while to process photos from that trip as it seems every time I would get going on them another project would come along and the Arizona photos would get pushed to the background. At any rate, I now have completed my work on the photos and have a selection to share.
Our first stop was an overnight stay at the Grand Canyon for both sunset and sunrise shoots. The canyon truly is magnificent and one could easily spend several days photographing it from different locations and times of day.
After our sunrise shoot we skedaddled off to Page, AZ for an afternoon Photo Tour of Lower Antelope Canyon. Both Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons are located on Navajo Tribal Land. The only way to visit the canyons is on a guided tour. On the regular tours, tripods and monopods are not allowed although people are welcome to take their cameras. We opted to pay the extra fare for a Photographic Tour and it was well worth the extra expense. Not only are you permitted to take tripods but the tour guides are great at showing you the better spots for shots and periodically will hold up the endless stream of tourist passing through a cavern so that you can get some good photos without people in them. Unfortunately, in March the sun is not in the most ideal locations for the iconic shots of the canyons but the lighting was still reasonably good.
That evening and the next morning we shot Horseshoe Bend. This is a very popular viewpoint and the canyon rim is lined with spectators and photographers. It was slightly less crowded at sunrise with mainly somewhat serious photographers showing up in the dark. The larger crowds didn’t show up until sunrise or slightly after.
Following our sunrise shoot at Horseshoe Bend and breakfast, it was off for a Photo Tour of Upper Antelope Canyon.
A short distance north of Page, just over the border into Utah, are some interesting rock formations called The Toadstools for obvious reasons. Late afternoon found us photographing these sculpted formations as the sun sank low in the sky.
Sedona, known for its red rock formations, was our destination the next day. Our sunset shoot was Cathedral Rock. Just when we thought the sun was down and we had lost the best light, a sudden burst of reflected light bathed the rock in a beautiful, intense color.
Sunrise the next morning found us photographing Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte.
Our last stop before our long drive home was V Bar V Ranch, south of Sedona. This heritage site, maintained by the US Forest Service, is home to 1,032 petroglyphs in 13 panels. An interpreter provided a very interesting talk on the history and meaning of the petroglyphs. The half-mile path to the petroglyphs was full of photographic opportunities and was a great final stop on our trip.