Not that long ago, let's say 6 years or so, shooting the Lower Antelope Slot Canyon involved paying the Navajo guide $20 and crawling down, literally a crack in the ground, and shooting the slot canyon. Not so anymore and it's the photographers who are to blame. Why? The beauty of the slot canyons is ubiquitous – consequently, everyone wants to see them.
So…trying to shoot the lower canyon was a bit of problem – actually, it was impossible. Essentially, it's so busy, you weren't allowed to bring a camera, let alone tripods, into the canyon. It's these type of problems, however, that led to other opportunities, and that's what happened on this trip.
A little research, on the MacBook Pro connected to my iPhone's hotspot, revealed another company which offered photo shoots on Upper Antelope Canyon as well as Rattlesnake and Owl canyons. Sweet!
The group was small, there were three of us, and basically, you were paired with two Navajo guides – one in front and one behind, as both would act as traffic cops to stop the tourist pedestrian traffic for about 30 seconds so you could shoot. Even so, I appreciated the opportunity and photographing would have been impossible without them. It does show that roadblocks often lead to other roads, and new roads are sometimes as, if not more, interesting.
Although I'm happy for the Navajo nation, it's interesting to see the various natural wonders become such tourist attractions. Oh well, there's always offseason.