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mtngal Jan 1, 2010 2:48 PM

Antelope Canyon and HDR
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon in Arizona. Dynamic range can be huge.

The place just begs for HDR, and I took lots of bracketed series:

All taken with a 5 shot series, 2 stops between frames - a total of 8 stops range. It wasn't quite enough for some of these.

Walter_S Jan 1, 2010 3:44 PM

This series is something else!

I start at the top - look at # 1 and say - this is perfect! Then I go on to # 2 and say, No - this must be it, and so I go on all the way until I have seen them all. They are just too good to choose any favorite.

It's such a special scene and showing such a special mood that it's difficult to decide which is "best". They are all powerful pictures, both in composition, lighting, color and HDR.

So strange and yet so beautiful, both in forms of nature and of course, the way you have photographed them. Amazing span of values and terriffic textures of the rocks.

I have never seen anything like it and I am deeply impressed! Well done.

simple Jan 1, 2010 3:53 PM

they are great :) i keep making faces out of the curves especially in 3

Bynx Jan 1, 2010 4:27 PM

Absolutely stunning. That ladder is so annoying in that it seems to be a desecration to this place.

mtngal Jan 1, 2010 4:38 PM

This is one of those spots that falls into the must-see category for photographers. I've wanted to visit it for years, since I first saw a picture of it. It did not disappoint, every inch of the canyon provides awesome pictures, especially when coupled with PhotoMatix (forgot to mention that's what I used for HDR).

I know what you mean about the faces - I thought the same thing. The only problem with this visit is that it made me want to go back, spend more time and take more pictures.

P.S. The ladder is necessary to this part of the canyon (there's two sections, one without ladders and one with). This section had been closed for years - in 1995 a number of people were killed by a flash flood when they were trapped. I hadn't realized that the various ladders were in so many of the pictures I posted.

shoturtle Jan 1, 2010 5:51 PM

awesome shots, the lighting was perfect.

Mugmar Jan 1, 2010 7:58 PM

Great shots. I must go there someday.

maggo85 Jan 2, 2010 3:47 AM

This is an absolutely amazing series, mtngal - I have never seen something like his before! Sensational location, sensational pictures - just perfect :)

Bynx Jan 2, 2010 4:51 AM

I gotta ask. Are the two colors -- the orange and the pink -- are they a result of a change in lighting or is there an actual change in color of the rock itself? Im going to do my best to get to this place in the summer sometime. What a spot.

mtngal Jan 2, 2010 10:26 AM

Change in lighting, depending on shadow, reflected light or direct light. I didn't notice the color change half as much as the camera did.

I started out having the white balance set to daylight (which is a good answer, especially for HDR sets) but thought after a while that the camera was accenting the blue more than I wanted. I tried to set a custom white balance using the photographer pass I had hanging around my neck but the white of the paper was off and I got strange colors, so then put it on AWB. That's a definite mistake as later on, when the light did get not only more dim but cooler due to overcast, the AWB really struggled. I'd get one frame out of the 5 that would be completely off (looked like the camera was choosing tungsten or something) from the rest of them. Because I shot raw I managed to change things enough to use them (or if not, I'd just skip that frame, it was always one in-between the others).

I'd LOVE to see the pictures you come up with. Summer is supposed to be better as the sun reaches the floor in the upper canyon (never in lower canyon). Take a tripod, these were all tripod mounted. My husband did pretty well hand-holding a camera using ISO up to 2000 and a fast zoom lens, but even that way shutter speeds require a steady hand. I used up to ISO 800 and had the camera set to f5.6 and my shutter speeds were way too slow to hand-hold, even with the fish-eye.

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