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Antelope Canyon, Arizona
In July 2011 I was fortunate to steal time and visit the Arizona/Utah border. I had decided to eschew Grand Canyon et al as they have been photographed to death. My first destination was going to the lesser known, but just as magnificent, Antelope Slot Canyon.

You book and pay $60 up front and for that you get a Navajo Indian who drives you out to the canyon in a truck and acts as your guide. Well, you don’t really need a “guide” as the canyon is more or less in a straight line, but a) you do need a driver, b) someone to co-ordinate with the other tour parties and c) someone who can hide behind a rock and chuck the fine sand up into the shafts of sunlight! See photos 3 and 6 below.

The canyon has been formed by rainwater flowing through it. There’s something like a 20mile canal at one end of the canyon and when the rains do fall, (and it really really rains), water hurtles through it carving these wonderful shapes into the canyon walls.

Photographs 1, 2 and 4 are hanging on the wall of the landing at Studio Lavalatte.

Dust Storm at Horseshoe Bend
The other reason for going to the Arizona/Utah border was to photograph Horseshoe Bend; where the spectacular and thundering Colorado River makes a complete 180-degree turn.

In the parking lot there’s a sign that says, weather conditions can change very rapidly and if you see lighting or hear thunder get back to your car: and fast! It was a sunny afternoon, so I started the 1.5mile trek with camera and tripod. With about half a mile to go I heard thunder behind me. I looked back to see the sky darkening, but it was darkening very quickly. I made the correct decision to go back, other walkers continued towards the Bend!

Well…as I shut the car door the heavens erupted and dust flew all around me. The hire car literally shook and rocked from side to side. Never one to miss a photo opportunity, I positioned the car at various angles and jammed the camera in the bit between doorpost and the window and took over 70 pictures.

These six photographs below tell the story of the final build-up, the main part of the storm and the sky after it passed. In all it took about 90minutes from start to finish – quite an extraordinary event.

And I never got to shoot Horseshoe Bend….!
Antelope Canyon I - ArizonaAntelope Canyon II - ArizonaAntelope Canyon III - ArizonaAntelope Canyon IV - ArizonaAntelope Canyon V - ArizonaAntelope Canyon VI - ArizonaDust Storm at Horseshoe Bend I - ArizonaDust Storm at Horseshoe Bend II - ArizonaDust Storm at Horseshoe Bend III - ArizonaDust Storm at Horseshoe Bend IV - ArizonaDust Storm at Horseshoe Bend V - ArizonaDust Storm at Horseshoe Bend IV - Arizona