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Archive 2022 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check

  
 
keepclicking
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


Completely agree with above 👆 comments. In today’s day and age of technology it’s just a matter of little effort to research any location on internet. So true, “Congestion, noise and pollution are problems, but they do not exist outside of us. We are congestion, noise and pollution.” well said mdude85 👍🏻


Feb 09, 2023 at 11:01 AM
Rajan Parrikar
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


mdude85 wrote:
It just seems a bit selfish because as much as you've "explored" the area for decades, I'm sure a lot of the knowledge you have was from reading and hearing about it from others. You just choose to be more cagey with your knowledge than they were of theirs, and you are advising others to do the same.

Quite. I'll give him a penny for all his "knowledge" and he can keep the change. It is like those dummies who think they are in possession of some secret sauce but then you walk around the block and the Jamaican running the food cart spills it liberally on his Jerk Chicken. All these 'secret' locations are known to everyone or can be found out with a few taps on the iPhone by a 10 year old of below-average intelligence. It takes a certain delusion to think that with all the mapping tools available at our fingertips today you can keep places hidden.



Feb 09, 2023 at 01:43 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


Following a nasty reply (which seems to have been deleted by the admins) to my earlier comment, I deleted my post except for the link to an article considering this complex and sometimes-divisive issue in more depth.

Since my message was deleted along with that reply, I'll just share the link to the article: "Disclosing Photo Locations: How Much Information is Too Much?"

Feel free to read it or not, but if you feel like commenting, at least read the article and understand it first. There are nuances to the issue worth considering, and I expect thoughtful FM'ers may agree — even those whose perspective may differ from mine.

Read it. Or not. Your choice. :-)

Thanks.



Feb 09, 2023 at 03:15 PM
GroovyGeek
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


mdude85 wrote:
Very few of us "discover" places on our own... usually we get advice from others (either directly or by guidebooks and websites), who have been gracious enough to share their knowledge. It seems a bit selfish to then pull the ladder up behind us, depriving others of the opportunities we were given.

And as a counterpoint, spreading people out to more under-the-radar spots might alleviate some of the overcrowding on the existing major sites. Luckily, these places do not become any less beautiful when more people who see them. Congestion, noise and pollution are problems, but they do not exist
...Show more

The Forrest Service does not publish the locations of the Methuselah Tree, which I find reasonable, not selfish. There are lotteries for many locations, which I find reasonable, not selfish.

Yes, we all learn from others, but usually not in the form of "go to GPS xxx yyy", but rather "this is an area with interesting topography/flora/fauna". We then take the time to explore before we go with available resources, and if possible come back multiple times.

In this day and age of Instagram people expect instant gratification. I was once shooting the Hot Springs in Mammoth after a heavy snowfall. Some dude showed up in late morning when the light had turned harsh, took a few snaps, and before snowshoeing away looked at me and said "you look like you spend quite some time here, can you text me the GPS locations of the good spots around here".

I am somewhat less oblique than Dan with the descriptions of locations, and will usually describe them in a way that requires someone to spend at least a small amount of time researching the area to figure out where it is located. Motivated individuals then spend a bit of time researching and coming pretty close to what I had in mind. This actually happened here some time ago, with a location that I had described as "north of Kanab Point". The person had liked the image, and spent time with GE and topo maps to identify is probable location, then drove out there and discovered it for themselves.

Even here, last week we got an inquiry "going to Utah in April, what are the good spots I should go to". It is lazy individuals like this that often are responsible for the deterioration of locations. They are after the IG shot, they want to know where and when to stand, spend 15 seconds there and then move on to the next location.

Those that want to share exact locations and times are free to do so, but should not me mad at those who share somewhat more selectively. Even when Dan is oblique he gives enough detail so that those who are generally familiar with the area can figure out what he means.




Feb 09, 2023 at 05:05 PM
mdude85
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


GroovyGeek wrote:
The Forrest Service does not publish the locations of the Methuselah Tree, which I find reasonable, not selfish. There are lotteries for many locations, which I find reasonable, not selfish.



What you're talking about is an official governing body (NPS, BLM, etc) carrying out its mission by limiting access to sites that are vulnerable to significant damage from overuse, vandalism etc (Obvioulsy the reason they do not disclose the location of the methuselah tree is fear that it will be cut down or vandalized).

Quite a bit different than holding back advice about good photo spots out of some nebulous fear of "crippling the potential for personal exploration" (presupposing a very high opinion of yourself that your advice could have any meaningful effect on someone's innate human qualities). If people want to share selectively, that's their business. I don't agree with "encouraging others" to do the same.



Feb 09, 2023 at 07:10 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


mdude85 wrote:
Quite a bit different than holding back advice about good photo spots out of some nebulous fear of "crippling the potential for personal exploration" (presupposing a very high opinion of oneself that your advice could have any meaningful effect on someone's innate human qualities). If people want to share selectively, that's their business. I don't agree with "encouraging others" to do the same.


I'm confused.

I'm relieved, at least, that you aren't implying — as some seem todo — that one has an obligation to share photo locations. It is really a personal decision.

On the other hand, I'm not sure why it would be a problem for a person who prefers to share less to explain that decision and encourage others to understand and consider it — they still have the freedom to discuss and decide for themselves. If folks can advocate for sharing everything, it doesn't seem unreasonable for those who want to meter their sharing to advocate for that.

To those who misunderstand (or didn't read) my thinking on this, it is not my position that one should never share anything with anyone. Like "groovygeek, I do discuss/share such things with some people in the right circumstances — just not everyone, everywhere, all the time. Hell, I wrote a book about one location-oriented subject!

To my way of thinking, it isn't any different than if I found nice local restaurant or like my dentist. I'd probably mention both to friends and neighbors, but I don't see there's an obligation to post the info on the internet. I'm not necessarily trying to keep people out of "my" restaurant or away from "my" dentist.

As to your second point, that is not my primary reason for being circumspect. That is just my attempt to point out to readers that, in my experience, there are actually some worthwhile benefits to engaging the process of finding your own special places.

YMMV.



Feb 09, 2023 at 07:42 PM
billsamuels
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


Tim,
I went to lower Antelope Canyon around 2015 and while that was a while ago, it was the first month they opened it up to non-photo tours and it was crazy! They had kids running around and I was surprised that they were letting this happen in that it couldn't be good for the huge hanging rock walls, not to mention the spirits that occupy the place. It was certainly NOT good for me as someone trying to take quality photos. But I did get some spectacular photos and the person leading the photo group gave us the time we needed. I had a Canon 6D at the time and I would have easily brought a 5DSR if I owned one at the time. I also brought a tripod and the Canon EF16-35mm F/4 lens, which worked beautifully. The only thing that might have worked better would have perhaps been a faster wide-angle high quality lens such as one of the Zeiss wide angles if you don't mind focusing, or even the Sigma 14mm Art or similar.

Much like Dan points out, there are some other really spectacular areas to see besides Antelope Canyon, but I would go for the experience if anything else. There's a guy named Craig Stuart who operates out of Sedona, Arizona and he runs a photography tour business of the Native American lands. He has access to some of the most amazing places you'll ever see and places that you'll never see otherwise because they are completely off limits to anyone except Native Americans as they are private lands. He has exclusive permission to take his clients onto their land to photograph and these areas are just as spectacular as some of our National Parks in Utah like Bryce. I went on one of his trips and it totally blew me away because you'd never know these places existed otherwise and they're in a guy's backyard! He also gets exclusive access to the Hopi tribal rituals so you can take photos of Hopi's doing what they only do in private. You can find Craig on Facebook. He's a friend of mine so tell him I sent you, and NO, I don't make a commission for send you!!! But he did take me to Antelope Canyon back in 2015. Bill



Feb 10, 2023 at 12:52 AM
Rajan Parrikar
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


mdude85 wrote:
Quite a bit different than holding back advice about good photo spots out of some nebulous fear of "crippling the potential for personal exploration" (presupposing a very high opinion of yourself that your advice could have any meaningful effect on someone's innate human qualities). If people want to share selectively, that's their business. I don't agree with "encouraging others" to do the same.


True. To add - we are today firmly in the grip of the mass tourism & travel era. With every passing day, hitherto sacred locations are being deflowered, made accessible & affordable, and run over. I anticipate that a trip to Antarctica (say, 15-20 years from now) will be be no different than dropping in on Tenerife for a weekend soak in the sun (except for the clothing). Unless restrictive measures are inaugurated worldwide which I rather doubt. (Svalbard is taking a stab at it.) There's a lot of $$ in the travel business.

If you are concerned about the environment, the fragility of places, and not contributing to further degradation, the only ethical position is to sow your ass to your La-Z-boy, fire up a 65" TV, and 'travel' via YouTube. But be warned that the Woke pr!cks who fly to Davos in private jets will come after you for wasting energy and heating up the planet. Their solution for you peasants: please stop breathing and die.

Or one can be the showboating poseur who keeps dropping terabytes of tosh ("Nuance for Dummies") hemming & hawing about his role in guarding the planet from the footfalls of other pesky photographers while doing the boring old maid wink-wink shtick: "Guys, I've been to spot X but please don't ask me about it, I'm saving the planet from you."

The only wrinkle with the virtue signaler is, an Amundsen he ain't, and every single 'secret' spot he has ever been to "in decades" is known to the approximately 800,000 photographers here on FM.





Feb 10, 2023 at 04:03 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


^^^
He seems nice.



Feb 10, 2023 at 10:36 AM
PhilPDX
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


Rajan Parrikar wrote:
we are today firmly in the grip of the mass tourism & travel era. With every passing day, hitherto sacred locations are being deflowered, made accessible & affordable, and run over..


So what do you propose? Give up and sacrifice every natural place on the planet on the altar of the almighty bucket list? Honest question.

-Phil




Feb 10, 2023 at 07:57 PM
chez
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


If someone asks me where a certain photo was taken I have zero issues telling them. As a rule, unless I’m asked, I don’t tell anyone details of where my landscapes were taken…I also don’t indicate it’s some secret place that I discovered…don’t see the point of doing this.

I see an awful lot of help being requested on this board regarding places to shoot when going to location X. I even recall help being asked by a vocal member here about where to shoot fall colours in the east.



Feb 10, 2023 at 08:17 PM
DonInTheUSA
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


gdanmitchell wrote:
^^^
He seems nice.


He sure does. Not sure what the point of insulting a large number of people is. But, I suppose that's the way he is...



Feb 10, 2023 at 09:50 PM
Rajan Parrikar
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


PhilPDX wrote:
So what do you propose? Give up and sacrifice every natural place on the planet on the altar of the almighty bucket list? Honest question.

-Phil



Phil,

I have personal experience with idylls going south quickly within the space of a single generation on account of uncontrolled tourism and environmental vandalism under the guise of ‘development.’ My birthplace, Goa, for instance. Where I live now - Iceland - we have seen in realtime how once hard-to-get-to locations (as recently as 5 years ago) have been made accessible via sealed roads due to pressure from the tourist industry. This trend shows no sign of receding. That's the reality of today. Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis.

I doubt there is a single landscape photographer on FM who does not care about the environment. There may be variability in what we think of as responsible behavior in the field; we may each have our own idea and thresholds in that area.

What is going on here is, some bloke trudges to location X, then publishes photos from that location, then appoints himself Mother Hen to preen to the rest on why he isn't going to reveal the specifics of that location. The goal is to impress us: “Look Ma, I went to this secret patch 50 metres from the Yosemite highway which only moi and my exclusive friends know of. Please clap.” I'm told that some, especially those 3 years old and below, are impressed.

You and I, when we travel around the world to pristine locations, then come back and post photos from those trips, forfeit the moral right to lecture others. If you want to keep your mouth shut about those locales, fine. Others may hold a different view.

On the other hand, the guy who has sacrificed his own peripatetic pleasures and decided to park himself on his living room sofa for the good of the planet may have some standing but I doubt he’ll be reading FM. :-)






Feb 11, 2023 at 05:59 AM
Rajan Parrikar
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


chez wrote:
I see an awful lot of help being requested on this board regarding places to shoot when going to location X. I even recall help being asked by a vocal member here about where to shoot fall colours in the east.


🤣🤣🤣





Feb 11, 2023 at 06:02 AM
AZHeaven
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


Last year a black bear was in an area that they normally are not in. No doubt displaced from a wildfire in the mountains 10 miles away. I told no one of its location or where I found it. Game and Fish came and relocated it that same day. Same with Great Horned Owl nests. I see too many people making them uneasy getting closer "trying to get a better view". Thankfully this year that area is underwater with all the rain and snow we have had this winter.

And same goes for petroglyphs and indian ruins not on the map that I come across. The less said the better.



Feb 11, 2023 at 09:17 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


Projection is fascinating. And speaking of lecturing... ;-)


Feb 11, 2023 at 10:02 AM
PhilPDX
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


Rajan Parrikar wrote:
I have personal experience with idylls going south quickly within the space of a single generation on account of uncontrolled tourism and environmental vandalism under the guise of ‘development.’


When I travelled around the world for several years in the early 1980s, there was always the distinction between a "Traveller" and a "Tourist". A traveller was usually on a low budget and for the most part cared about the people and places (or so we thought...). Tourists flew in for two weeks, spent a boatload of money, ruined the local prices and bragged about it at home. Thus attracting even more of their kind, followed by the scouts of the tourist industry, who were the final nail in the coffin of many, many beautiful places. Goa is one example (I remember it from a peaceful time long before raves/ Full Moon Parties ruined it), Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Seychelles, Australia, Costa Rica, Iceland, Patagonia, Galapagos are some of the countless others.

Following the example above, there are two kinds of photographers these days: the ones who really care about the places they visit (the travellers) and the ones who see destinations as part of their bucket list (the tourists). The latter visit remote, untouched places, post images all over social media (look at me, look at me) and attract even more of their kind. These people are like locusts and I keep my mouth shut about certain places simply not to attract them.

Very black and white, I know.

-Phil








Feb 11, 2023 at 04:25 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


PhilPDX wrote:
Tourists flew in for two weeks, spent a boatload of money, ruined the local prices and bragged about it at home. Thus attracting even more of their kind, followed by the scouts of the tourist industry, who were the final nail in the coffin of many, many beautiful places.


One place where I spend a lot of time went through this sort of infection during the initial intersection of nascent social media and digital photography, and the echoes persist there. The larger region wasn't exactly ruined, but some of its locations were badly degraded.

I share your affinity for more or less self-organized exploration. That's not always possible in all places, I suppose, but it is my preference. Personally, I'd rather wander a bit than rely on hiring someone to cart me to The Best Place in most cases. The serendipitous results of that wandering have produced some of the most memorable experiences for me.

YMMV.



Feb 12, 2023 at 12:17 PM
PhilPDX
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


gdanmitchell wrote:
I share your affinity for more or less self-organized exploration. That's not always possible in all places...


Never went on an organized tour or booked a vacation package in my life. Buy a plane ticket, book some hotels in advance and make a reservation for a rental car - that's usually it. Until about 10 years ago or so my wife and I didn't even reserve a hotel room or a car in advance. Everything handled on site, and that includes countries like India, Costa Rica, Seychelles and other third/ second world destinations. For me that's the fun part of getting away from it all. Organized tours are probably only necessary for very few locations like Antarctica, North Korea or Bhutan.

-Phil




Feb 12, 2023 at 09:52 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Antelope Canyon 2023 - Reality Check


PhilPDX wrote:
Never went on an organized tour or booked a vacation package in my life. Buy a plane ticket, book some hotels in advance and make a reservation for a rental car - that's usually it. Until about 10 years ago or so my wife and I didn't even reserve a hotel room or a car in advance. Everything handled on site, and that includes countries like India, Costa Rica, Seychelles and other third/ second world destinations. For me that's the fun part of getting away from it all. Organized tours are probably only necessary for very few locations like Antarctica,
...Show more

One of the best things I (eventually) learned about travel is that being a little uncomfortable is a good thing — the stretch is part of what makes travel great. It is good to see the sights and all that, but beyond that many of my favorite and most memorable experiences have come unexpectedly and from doing things that weren't exactly planned.

We do tend to reserve the rooms and, when we use them, cars in advance, but our day-to-day plans are usually incredibly general and vague. We know what city we'll be in, and we have a mental list of a some things we don't want to miss, but we love to just get out and wander. I know, not for everyone.

It is the same for me when I do landscape photography in the US. I may go to a particular general location — say Death Valley, Southwest Utah, North Cascades, New England – but once there I like to "poke around" and see what I can find.



Feb 12, 2023 at 11:04 PM
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