I have seen Antelope Canyon several times in the popular daytime - complete with crowds and noise. In fact, this magical slot canyon is well known for its mid-day shafts of light that creatively penetrate through the curvy sandstone. I had always wondered what this place would be like at night. And when I had a last minute chance to go the first time, I jumped! Although the first night was super clouded and windy, I was allowed to try the next night before my time ran out exploring this desert domain around Page, Arizona. I was lucky, however, to find the next night lacking clouds or wind.
Finally, there I was, standing in the dark cracks in the earth with the stars peering in from above - no crowds or sounds at all. It was so different at night compared to the day. Here, star and moonlight ricocheted softly around the Navajo sandstone.
In this adventure of a completely dark area of Upper Antelope slot canyon, I softly light painted strategic areas of the canyon with small red LED lights. The red color of the LEDs forced the camera’s color balance to expose the sky with a vivid blue. Along with experimental multi-positioning, long 15 second exposing and light painting, a surreal image of the night sky revealing itself light years above the canyon walls was created.
Even though I was focused on tweaking the camera's settings and position, I was warned to watch my standing area and the canyon walls for huge Brown Recluse spiders (as one ran under my tripod). Now this sounds like a place in hell for most people, but I couldn't be more grateful for the night hikes experience into Antelope Canyon.