Five-Years Ago (09-October-2013) — Arizona

Gone to See America 2013. Nikonian Annual Photography Adventure Trip. Day 4: Page, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend.

The US Government was in shutdown mode while we visited Arizona. All the National Parks, Monuments, and other “non-essential” government facilities closed. The organizers of ANPAT 13 scrambled to find other locations for the four vans of photographers to visit. The original plan was to spend most of remaining time in Grand Canyon National Park.  Many folks signed up for the trip specifically to see the north rim of the Grand Canyon and not surprisingly  disappointed and angry.  Our van’s revised assignment for the day included Lower Antelope canyon, on Navajo land, and thus not closed. Horseshoe Bend, where the upper vista point is on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land — technically closed, but not preventing visitors hiking to the vista point. Finally, Glen Canyon Dam, where the visitor center closed, but the dam and power generation remained in operation. Like us, tourists from all around the world were looking for alternative things to do and see leading to overcrowding at some locations.

We first drove to Page, and then Upper Antelope Canyon. I’d been there before on a Photography Workshop with Winston Hall. It is a target rich environment for photographers. You can only visit Antelope Canyon with a Navajo guide, and this time we had to sign a release regarding use of images and safety. The sky was cloudy, so we didn’t have the light beams coming down into the narrow slot canyon — but it still was a wonderful place to get some very unique images. The next stop was Horseshoe Bend. I’d also been there before with Winston Hall. The parking area was nearly full, and the only evidence of the government shutdown were locked restrooms. We hiked to Horseshoe Bend vista point, and found many folks already there. Rather than fight for a spot at the favorite viewpoint, I found a different place with a good view. I mounted a camera  Nikon 800 camera with a fisheye lens on a sturdy monopod, then held the camera over the edge. It’s quite a view. A bit later I saw a National Geographic photographer put a camera out over the canyon wall with an even longer pole. This was before the days of drones.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 100, 16 mm, f/11, 1/100 sec). Camera mounted on a monopod held out over the cliff. (David J Mathre)
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 100, 16 mm, f/11, 1/100 sec). Camera mounted on a monopod held out over the cliff. (David J Mathre)

Individual images from theses slideshows can be viewed here.

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, sky, and seascapes, travel, and astrophotography. I look for unique ways of viewing the world and presenting my images. I have traveled to over 55 countries in six continents, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on home renovation and expansion of a wildflower garden/meadow.

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