Looking for photography tips for your upcoming trip to Antelope Canyon—one of the most photographed slot canyons in the world?
From the pages of National Geographic to scenes from popular movies, it’s guaranteed that you’ve seen photos of Antelope Canyon. When you take the best Antelope Canyon tour, you’ll want some photography tips to make sure you’re getting the perfect shot to add to your photo album.
Outside of some very specific circumstances, an iPhone or top-of-the-line Android phone will take outstanding photos, no matter where you are. To get the most out of your smartphone, there are a few things you can do to help ensure you get the best possible photos.
Before we get started, it’s important to understand that the biggest challenge for photography of the canyon is lighting. Because the canyon is so narrow, good lighting is tough to find because the sun isn’t always shining directly into the canyon; this may lead to your photos being under or over-exposed as lighting may be completely different in different parts of the shot.
Unless you’re visiting the canyon at high noon when the light shines directly down into the canyon, you’ll likely be facing low-light conditions in some areas. While smartphones still struggle a bit in low light, they get better and better each year. To help minimize pixelation and blurring, we recommend that you hold your phone as steady as possible, use a tripod, or brace it against something while shooting a photo.
Stay at the Back of the Tour Group
Nobody back home wants to see the back of some lady's head in your canyon photos. Linger at the back of the tour and let others go ahead of you. Once those who brought their kiddos have gone ahead and rounded the next bend, it will be a perfect opportunity for a shot of an empty canyon. This is the view nature intended with its explosions of color—and the same view Native Americans have enjoyed for 1,000 years.
Use Low-Light or Night Mode
Depending on your phone, there is a camera setting known as low-light or night mode. This fully opens the camera’s sensors and shutters to allow as much light as possible into the image, and is a useful photography trick for early-morning or late-afternoon visitors to the canyon. Be careful not to use this setting at midday, though, as it will cause your photos to wash out with too much light.
Choose a Focus Point
Using your finger to select a point in the photo to focus on will allow you to see how the camera handles lighting in different ways. For shots in mixed lighting, be sure to tap around the screen to see which one you think looks best, or shoot a bunch of photos with several different focus spots and decide later which one you like most.
Professional Camera Tips
Opt for ISO
ISO is a lighting setting on cameras. A low ISO value means less sensitivity to light, while a higher ISO means more sensitivity.
You're going to wear out your ISO button with all the opportunities to take mixed-lighting shots. An extremely low ISO long exposure can provide some interesting ghostly traces of people as they make their way through the canyon.
Keep Your Lens Cap On
Dust frequently falls from the desert above into the canyon and there's plenty of fine sand to be found everywhere. We don’t need to tell you what this can do to finely-tuned camera equipment–it’s best to keep your dust covers and lens caps firmly on the camera and only take them off when you are taking a picture.
Bring Your Best Telephoto Lens
The canyon isn’t the only thing to see. Bring along your best telephoto or longshot lenses for some fantastic shots of the spectacular scenery surrounding the canyon. It’s your chance to show those Instagram kids how it's really done.
Of course, for the best photo-ops on a canyon tour, be sure to choose a trip with MaxTour. Our experienced guides will help make sure you get the best photos possible at every stop along the journey!