Making the Most of your Photography Schedule in Page Arizona
Unlike the other articles in this “Tips from the Pros” section…I’m not going to tell you how best to photograph Horseshoe Bend (I’ve already covered that in another blog post). Instead I’m going to help you schedule your day in Page in a way that will maximize your potential photography.
Many of you reading this website are planning to visit Page after photographing some of the other photographic icons in the area (Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, etc.). If so, you will be on a tight schedule and will probably have a day or less to spend in Page and you are going to have to make every minute count. Multiple trips to Page over the past decade have taught me a few tricks that I’d like to share with you. First of all, you certainly are already planning to hit Antelope Canyon while you are in Page, but did you know that there are actually two different Antelope Canyons? They are both beautiful, but unique in their own way and you will want to photograph both of them.
• The Antelope Canyon that is the most visited and photographed is Upper Antelope Canyon. This is the one with the famous light beams that occur between March 15 and Oct 7 . These tours are tightly choreographed and crowded but the views are beautiful and otherworldly. Pay extra to get on one of the Photography tours (about $80) and take the trip that will be in the canyon between 11am and 1pm (this is when the light beams are visible). There are a number of different tour companies, I’d recommend that you check out Trip Advisor to find one with good reviews.
• Lower Antelope Canyon is every bit as beautiful but light beams are few and far between. However, at this location you can pay $50 for a photographer’s pass and stay in the canyon for 2 hours without being part of a group. Tours will pass thru by you, but you can set up and photograph at your own speed.
Suggested Schedule for your visit
• Sunrise Page is about 2 hours from Zion, Bryce and Monument Valley…which means that you can be at one of those locations for a sunrise shot and then still have time to drive to Page for a full day of photography
• 10:30am Schedule a photo tour at Upper Antelope Canyon. These tours start in Page and start at different times during the day. Book the 10:30am tour since this is when light beams will be at their peak. These tours normally take about 2.5 hours and you will get back to Page about 1pm
• 1-2pm Grab Lunch in Page, then drive back to Lower Antelope Canyon. Pay for the Photographer’s tour ($50)
• 2-4pm Photograph Lower Antelope Canyon.
• 4pm If you are visiting during the winter, the sun will set before 6pm so it would now be time to head to Horseshoe Bend. During the summer however, sunset can be as late as 8pm. In that case, grab dinner in Page before you head out to Horseshoe.
• Sunset Leave Page at least 90 minutes before sunset (that will give you plenty of time to drive to the Horseshoe parking lot, hike the trail to the site and set up before peak color hits.
• Now you can head back into Page for a good night’s sleep before heading off in the morning for your next adventure! The American Southwest is blessed with an incredible number of iconic photo locations. Even so, you would be hard-pressed to find another location that has such a variety of world-class photo ops that you can hit in a day.
About the Author: Jeff Stamer got his first camera, a secondhand Kodak Brownie back in 1964. A lot has certainly changed since then, but he will tell you that love of photography hasn’t been one of them. After a 30 year interlude with an international Fortune 500 corporation, Jeff returned to full-time wildlife and landscape photography in 2010. He has since been making up for those lost decades with a vengeance. Jeff writes a regular photography blog and maintains a well-respected website at: http://www.firefallphotography.com/