Trip Report: Arizona
In the summer of 2015 I travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada on holiday with the idea of driving 660+ miles (round trip) over 2 days to the small town of Page Arizona. The route I planned was very deliberate in order to snap some pictures I have been thinking about for some time. The three locations I was most Interested in were Desert View Watchtower at the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado river and Antelope Canyon near the town of Page. A lot of people fly to the Grand Canyon but driving was important as it would give me the freedom to jump out of the car at a moment's notice to explore with my camera.
Arizona gets extremely hot in the summer time (hovering around 35-40c most days) so I packed the car with a few gallons of water and some food. Grabbed the Fuji X-T1, filled the tank with petrol and headed out of Las Vegas at around 8am. I arrived at Desert View Watchtower on the southern rim just after lunchtime, it was hot but not as bad as Vegas had been. I was able to compose a few landscape shots which included the famous stone watch tower over looking the canyon. I also stopped the car now and then to investigate things which caught my eye. Now, in general I’m afraid of heights but standing near the edge of the grand canyon was a little unnerving! Still, I would recommend everyone to visit atleast once if they get the chance.
The next stop Horseshoe was around 2 hours up the road and I got there right on time, just as the sun was going down. It was busy with a lot of people taking pictures, the Colorado river looks stunning as it meanders around the rocky canyon.
I got into the town of Page just after sun down, grabbed some food and called it a night. The next morning I met up with a local tour guide to show me around Antelope Canyon (near Page). The Canyon is not freely open to the public as it is located on Navajo land, so a guide is necessary. The canyon is a really awesome place and is apparently one of the most photographed locations in the world. The rocks that make up Antelope Canyon are the remains of prehistoric rocks eroded over thousands of years by flash flooding. Around midday when the sun is high in the sky beams of light enter the canyon creating a really cool effect which I was lucky enough to capture.
After exploring the canyon some more and chatting with our insightful guide it was time to head back to town then begin the long drive to Las Vegas.
In summary, the trip was most definitely worth it, lots of driving over two days but worth it. Just cruising the long straight desert highways is an experience in itself. I am extremely pleased my images and could not fault the X-T1 which continues to surprise me. I’ll be looking forward to the day when I can return, the region has so much to offer photographers.