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Antelope Canyon Entrance at Night



A Slot Canyon in Page Az.. The end of a night tour of Antelope Canyon where the tour guide left his light on while doing a final check. Lucky to get stars it s...
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A Slot Canyon in Page Az.. The end of a night tour of Antelope Canyon where the tour guide left his light on while doing a final check. Lucky to get stars it started out very cloudy. A tribal chief inside. A horse to the left and its rider to the right at the entrance. A power plant a mile away provides the light during a long exposure, know and use the light! Also always use camera NR....
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Behind The Lens

Location
Page, Arizona Antelope Canyon entrance. Navajo tour company "Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours" the only night tour company. Appointments online only but beware of rainy season tours can be canceled due to water as high as the top of the slot canyon rushing through from rain upto many miles away!!!
Time
This was at the end of a night tour on October 21, 2017 at 9PM or 2100 hrs and daylight saving time. But few do know is time zones vary in Arizona from the state not using daylight savings to some reservation do. Also you may have your watch set for a time but your cell phone will have a different time depending on the cell tower location. With Utah so close your phone may be on a cell tower in Utah also, they use Daylight savings. In your hotel pinging off Utah tower it will be Daylight Savings but if a tower is in Arizona you may not be on Daylight Saving. You are close also to Hoppi reservation where they do observe Daylight saving. So a camera setting of time can be off by an hour!!!
Lighting
The Canyon was lit by a LED lantern set to daylight being used by the Navajo guide while he rechecked the canyon before leaving. The outside was very dark BUT there is/was a coal burning electrical power plant three miles to the Northwest which is very brightly lit with amber lighting. The clouds and the entrance were lit by the power plant, not much. I took a quick capture in landscape mode at 6400 (using aperture mode) and it was great so I took another in portrait mode. When the Navajo guide came out he viewed it and I told him the canyon needed to be renamed!!! This was the first time he had seen a Sony Camera doing night shots and with a 12mm lens, most use 35mm lenses.
Equipment
I had just bought the A7RM2 before my trip to Arizona, but I had been using the A7S for Astro Milky Way and used many wide angle lenses for that. I chose the Sony SEL1224G f/4 lens for the wideness, I wanted to get as much in as I could, for it worked good for Milky Way so I knew it would be great for a lit interior and on a tripod with a IBIS camera also good, but turned IBIS of because of tripod. The tripod was a Manfrotto 190L that worked great inside because of the post pops out vertical so you can shoot straight up while laying in the ground (dusty/sandy) kinda away from the tripod with some room. No flash was used just starlight and light from the power plant.
Inspiration
Just a funny thing, I was waiting outside by the truck getting ready to put by gear away when I looked back and saw the stars above with some clouds passing by and was thinking the Milky Way was in that direction, just the tail for that time of year. So I thought what a great shot. After seeing the Landscape shot I decided to get more sky so I did a portrait shot. Now I am an old retired sailor, so do not shame me, and when I first saw the lit canyon from outside WELL it looked like what all men of my time thought about a lot that was the main inspiration.
Editing
Post Processing was done back in 2017 with just Lr on my Laptop while traveling. There was a lot of noise in the shadows. At the time I did not know about ISO Invariance and noise. I went back to this image after I got Topaz Denoise AI and used Clear AI as well as LR noise control. I used DxO PhotoLab 2 to process with camera and lens profile and it's noise prime reduction, then sent to Denoise AI but found Clear AI was better, then exported to Lr for touch up! If I would have known about ISO Invariance I could have shot at a lower ISO say 800 and there would have been less noise and better detail in the shadows due to greater dynamic range at a lower ISO and would only need to bring up shadows and add a little exposure to make a nice bright capture, the secret of ISO Invariance and dynamic range!!!!
In my camera bag
On this trip I took everything for I was traveling in a big truck with a topper! But the main things I carry are a camera, an A7S, A7RM2 or A7M3 depending on what I preplan. I have found you need only two lenses the Sony SEL1224G (non IS) and SEL24240 (IS), the range is awesome. Let me add for that widest shot the Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 (non IS) I used at Horseshoe Canyon and did not have to lean over the edge and well as inside churches, now this helps if you are not into panoramas and what a one shot wonder-do not worry with a f/8 or f/11 all will be sharp close and out just focus at the right distance. I do not have the new SEL200-600 but would suggest it for I do have the Sigma 150-600 for wildlife good out to 1800mm with 2x extender (MF only to that).
Feedback
Not everything can be planned!!! Need to know you camera!!! Practice, Practice do a lot of captures day and night. I am not going to try and sell anything here!!! But the Sony cameras have the highest useable ISO's to choose most times you need them. The Mark2's and above ISO Invariant meaning you can shoot at lower ISO's and just increase exposure and shadows to bring out brighter shadows, IBIS and for night capture framing bright monitoring (night vision like on the LCD Screen. The Mark3's more light gathering sensor, 10 FS for birding/wildlife/sports ect. ect. If you can get out at night shoot some stars, use PhotoPills app to find a shutter speed for the MM lens and camera you will use to get pin point stars. Just because you are not in a dark place you can still shoot stars BUT study the light around you in all directions know where it is and the brightness. Just increasing ISO a little and SS can do wonders. Last play in Lr and other Post Processing programs to see what you can pull out of an image and as software gets better go back and do a redo, just play and learn on a rainy day!!!

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