If you’re serious about taking some clear shots of Upper Antelope Canyon, I highly suggest joining a guided photography tour. You don’t need to be a professional photographer, though the photography tours do require you to bring a dSLR camera and a tripod.
The beauty of photography tours is that the guides work their magic to halt other groups on either side of the path so you can take unobstructed shots for as long as you’d like. It was pure craziness! I asked Roger, our guide if I could take solo shots in the main canyon chamber and he literally shooed another group away, even making sure they stood far back enough so their feet didn’t peek underneath! That group just stood around and waited until I finished taking all my shots. This happened throughout the entire course of the quarter-mile canyon.
As a courtesy, check with others in the group to see if they would mind you jumping in for a few shots. Some professional photographers go on these tours with photo assignments but on our group, we were all professional amateurs.
Our guide also threw sand into the light beam to make the light more noticeable. You just need to time your shots to make sure you capture the beam when the sand is mid-air. Another classic shot in the canyon is throwing sand on a ledge for the pouring sand effect.
Another benefit of a small-group photography tour is the flexibility of moving in and around other tour groups. Because we only had 6 people in our group, we easily slipped through areas of congestion in the canyon. As well, your guide will help you with different camera settings. Just remember to tip your photography tour guide at the end.
I had never taken so many pictures of anything in my life. We had almost 3 hours to photograph every nook and cranny of the canyon that in some areas, I just stood back to admire what was around me.
Read the Ultimate Guide to Antelope Canyon here.
The photography tour was totally worth it. Being able to stand alone, momentarily in the vast canyon in the absence of crowds was priceless.