Antelope Canyon, Arizona – An incredible location for outstanding photos – A talk with Gavin Hardcastle

Last updated on August 9th, 2018 at 02:47 pm

Last week we talked about the new record price for a photo, paid the incredible amount of $6.5M. Melbourne born Peter Lik is the photographer. The photo was made in the Antelope Canyon in Arizona, USA.

As a follow up on this awesome location I contacted Gavin Hardcastle, a great British photographer based in Canada that had the possibility to visit the Antelope Canyon and, more important, he made some outstanding shots of the canyon.

Gavin runs also an awesome website called FotoTripper where he writes of his travelling experiences providing tons of tips for any visited location, not only on the photo side of it but also on the travelling itself, making the life easier for anybody that is planning a trip.

By the way, if you are after travel photography tips, compositions, tutorials and much more then why not reading and, if you prefer, downloading for FREE (no need to pass your email, no worries) this ultimate guide for travel photography. Over 70 pages that may change your way to make (not just take) photos when travelling.

FREE (no email required) Reference Guide to Travel Photography

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon from below

Q. Many thanks Gavin for your time! First of all tell us a bit more about the Antelope Canyon.

Antelope Canyon is one of those photography locations that will challenge and reward the photographer in equal measure.

As you battle the chaos of the cramped conditions while sharing time and space with 200 other photographers, you ask yourself ”what am I doing here?”.

Then you see your first amazing shot on the back of your camera and it all becomes clear.


Q. How challenging is to make photos in the canyon?

If you can keep it together and not loose your rag, Antelope Canyon will give you stunning results if you know how to use your camera.

If you’re a complete beginner you might not appreciate the high pressure circumstances that come from shooting in enclosed spaces while jostling tripods for the best compositions. 

Make sure you know how to focus and set your exposure value quickly to take advantage of the rapidly shifting lighting conditions. 


Q. How busy can be the place?

It’s important to keep patient but don’t let other shooters take advantage while they hog all of the best light and most importantly – time.

Those shafts of light shift and shrink over a 45 minute time span so make the most of your time and then move on so that others can get their shot.

You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with Photoshop’s ‘Content Aware Fill’ tool as it’s almost impossible to capture a scene without someone’s foot or tripod leg creeping into the shot.

Antelope Canyon

Q. Your last tip?

Plan well, practice, keep your cool and you’ll capture some stellar photos.

It was just great to have a chat with Gavin. Watching his photos I really wonder if there is a $6.5M difference between his work and Peter’s photo.

You can buy Gavin’s photo from his website below, a great addition to your gallery. Really love these photos

Check Gavin’s full article of the Antelope Canyon on his website

Fototripper website:

Gavin Hardcastle website where you can buy prints:


All images are Creative Commons, Non-Commercial
Details and licensing rights

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Stefano Ferro
Stefano is a travel and landscape photographer with a background in cycling, movie and lifestyle photography. When in Melbourne, his hometown, you will see him cycling around at sunset or sunrise looking for the best spot for a photo of this beautiful city. It is quite amazing how much photography gear he can pack on his bike :o
  1. Those pictures are amazing. We are trying to figure if we are heading to Antelope Canyon this year or not. Love your & Gavin’s tips on getting great pics. Antelope is definitely on my bucket list.

    • Reply

      Good day Eric,
      indeed a great place to visit, surely unique in its genre. I guess the challenge will be to have a photo without any person in it, so popular. Although nowadays PS can help with that 🙂

      Enjoy your trip and photography

  2. A beautiful fine art photograph must compose the right kind of patterns. The horizontal lines on the Slot Canyons play well with the human eye. Upon looking at the picture, there is this strong sense of harmony and accord.

    • Reply

      Indeed a beautiful place to photograph. Sure in my top 10 to visit…..sooooon

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