Friday, October 12, 2012

Antelope Canyon's Colorful Display

We return to Anetlope Canyon for another opportunity to wonder at the phenomenon of this slot canyon.

"A slot canyon is a narrow crevice sliced through a mesa by rushing water. Some canyons measure less than a yard across at the top but drop a hundred feet or more from the rim to the natural floor.

"Slots are cut and scoured by water and wind with the striations of the sandstone becoming almost incandescent. Seen from the surface, a slot canyon appears as a slash.

"From within you find a palette of colors transmuted by light filtering down from above and bouncing from wall to wall.

The "light" mentioned above, while creating beautiful visual effects for the human eye, creates challenges for the "eye" of a camera.

Sometimes there is enough light to capture the shapes, colors, and "waves" through the rocks.

Other times the contrast between brilliance and darkness is too great for the camera to capture the whole picture.

Other times, the variation in levels of brightness are much less extreme and allow the camera to collect the range of colors and shadings.

One of the lessons learned was that using a tripod would allow for longer time exposures and, thus, greater flexibility in the choice of subjects.

Some of the most interesting--and surprising--photos were ones taking in shady or even dark areas of the canyon.

While the oranges and yellows provide stunning displays, the lavender and mauve colors that appear with longer exposures in the shaded areas provide subtle surprises.

These images appear to show the movement of a lavender liquid across the rocks.

And then, we came upon these beams of light. Around midday, the sun is in position to show off.

“Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding and secondarily due to other sub-aerial processes.

"Rainwater, especially during monsoon season, runs into the extensive basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways.

"Over time the passageways are eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form charac-teristic 'flowing' shapes in the rock” ( Antelope_Canyon).

All in all, a visual treat.

With one more day to go.

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