“In life, as in art, the beautiful moves in curves.”~E Bulwer-Lytton

Antelope Canyon Walls 3 (1 of 1)
Soft, sinuous, curvaceous, the feminine side of Mother Earth dominates Antelope Canyon.

The last slot canyon I visited was Buckskin Gulch in Utah. It is hard, linear and dark so I was a bit surprised at the softness of Antelope Canyon. I had seen images showing that voluptuousness, but the beauty of the canyon must be seen in person in order to really experience its seductiveness. It’s gorgeous: soft colors of sandstone, smooth lines and filtered light which breaks through at various points.

Now the experience of visiting the canon was a whole other story. To sum it up: it was a cattle call. Not only was it a complete zoo with streams of people being rushed along both in and out but I also experienced real rudeness in the tour operators efforts to keep things moving along at a pace that would allow maximum admissions. In all honesty, it just about ruined the beauty of this spectacular place for me. We were unable to do the photography tour as the other 2 people in my party did not have tripods or DSLRs (both mandatory). Maybe that experience would have been a better one…I cannot say. The beams of light that reach down to the sand floor that I have seen in other’s images can only be had at the morning tour which had been completely filled when we called for reservations a few weeks ahead. We took an afternoon time slot and I just looked at it as preparation for a photo tour in the future. I now doubt I will return as the tour experience left a bad taste in my mouth. I am not fond of crowds, dislike being rushed along like a cow going to slaughter and was kind of appalled at some of the rudeness.  Maybe I needed to do much more research as far as tour operator reviews go but what I encountered there is something I may likely not wish to repeat. There are so many other beautiful places I have yet to experience, places I can do so without having to feel like I am just a number that needs to be played and spit out of the chute as quickly as possible .

But having said all that, I am glad to have witnessed the beauty of the canyon.  I felt so rushed I was not sure I had taken even ONE decent image but to the canyon’s credit, it is so special that I was able to capture some of its stunning beauty. Maybe that alone makes the frustrating experience well worth it. I am still mulling that over…..



4 thoughts on “Curves

  1. The shot is gorgeous. I’ve heard similar complaints from others and, though I’ve never been there, I understand your frustration. I find it odd that you can only spend a few minutes to see something that took millions of years to create.

  2. Exactly! It was truly one of the ugliest experiences I have had in one of the most beautiful places.
    My guide allowed the first few in the group to take an image of “Santa Claus” in the rocks (or some other Rorschach formations), which I had little interest in doing anyway, but shuffled all others right on through the assembly line. I was admonished by other tour guides for stopping to compose….I just let them vent and did what I thought I had paid for (the ability to at least take in some of the canyon) without letting them push me around. I also had a wannabe model in our group posing at every crevice in the rock, like she was Marilyn Monroe reincarnate. 😦
    I may try a tour of Secret Canyon (nearby, similar but supposedly much more serene) next time.

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