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Slot Canyons - America | Shot by Pete Dobres Australian Photography Tours and Workshops

As a photographer, I never get bored with what I do.I’m at my freest and most content when I’m out in the field shooting and taking my time in what comes across my path.I’m often asked where is the best place I’ve ever shot and that’s almost impossible to answer as for me, there are places that have made an everlasting impression on me and they keep drawing me back there time and time again .The slot canyons are one such place.

Every continent on the earth has its own special unquietness. There are reasons for that I believe but now is not the time to go into that.

The slot canyons are something that just blow you away, well they did for me as what they present to you are endless possibilities as the light is always changing by the second and the shift in the light creates dramatic pictures where ever you look.

I haven’t been to all of them , and by no means am I an expert in shooting them as I have  only seen three but they are something that for me, shows Gods sense of creativity at its best.They have left an ever lasting impact on me and when I return to the States, I would like to continue on with my discovery of them. I love the shapes, forms textures and color.

For those who do not know what the slot canyons are, these are canyons as the name suggest but not wide open canyons, these are very narrow canyons,small in design and  where movement can be tight and not 1000’s of feet deep .For us in Australia, one could describe them as narrow caves but with no roof above.As the light passes over head, the sand stone of the ocher rock just burns with color and it is truly an amazing experience, so many wonders hidden in such a small area.I often just stood there and stood in awe at what I was watching.I had to pinch myself that I was looking at what was before me.

If I get back to the States, I will venture to other slot Canyons although the car that I had may not take me there so that will be a challenge but it wont stop me. The slots present many challenges while shooting but the rewards are truly stunning, emotive and moving. As I moved through the slot canyons, I was was in awe of the shifting colors, beams of light, shapes and forms and textures that I have never seen before.

This was my wonderland of photography!!! These are places that I would never get bore of seeing them  over  and over again as the light is always moving, making its way through the openings above and you can be at one section where it is dull and yet 10 minutes later, it is alive with dancing colors and the rock walls are no longer dormant, they are vibrant, oozing with life, embracing all that is before them.

When the shades of light hit the walls, new shapes, forms and textures emerge from the darkness and they give you a glimpse of their beauty before they fade back into the darkness. That’s the the incredible thing about the Canyons, the wonderland is changing in slow motion and thats why ‘Im just in awe of the creativity of God that is highlighted through the cracks of time,  He still reveals His creativity, even to the few who venture to these parts.

The ones that are featured here are both Upper and Lower antelope canyon and Canyon X.

For those who don’t know this area well, both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons are so so so popular with crowds and getting the picture you want can be so hard if not impossible at times.Antelope in particular is out of control with numbers and it was here where I experienced my first acts of camera rage! I’ve never experienced this in Australia and some how they need to manage the crowds more in this canyon and not to be thinking of the dollar all the time. This will be one canyon i will not return for just my pleasure as the experience people swearing at each other, pushing, shoving, punching, f….ing this and that at each other was so sad to see. Lower Canyon which is my favorite out of the two is a far better experience.

But all was not lost, let me introduce to you a man called Charly Moore from Overland Canyon Tours who is a legend in his own right. He runs tours to Canyon X and although these are considerable much more in cost, they are well worth what you pay as Charly only takes small numbers into the Canyon with a max 5 .On this occasion there were three of us.

Charly is such a gentle man who is happy to point so many things out to you. He will make your time most enjoyable, he points out to you attention to detail he takes a genuine interest in you with what you are hoping to capture. He will even show you his favorite spots in the Canyon whereas as other will be happy to take your money and not highlight things to you.

Charly for me was a god send as this was a place, whose colors , shades and forms were equally as stunning as the other two Canyons that I went to but the big difference was, I didn’t have to complete against crowds, there was no camera rage, no one telling to me  get stuffed etc. It was so nice to be only 4 of us in the Canyon and the good thing is, Charly spends the entire day with you in the Canyon.What you walk away with is a sensational experience and if you walk away with no stunning images, it is no fault of Charly, its in your own ability to capture what is there. Don’t be scared to ask Charly for advice as he is keen to help.

When you are in Page, Arizona, look up and book on to Charly tours to Canyon X, no i don’t get commission from Charly. So why do I highly recommend Charly? My time in America taught me many things  and one of the things that i become aware of is that in American it is becoming just so so so hard to get awesome pics in prime locations as there are just so so so many people at each place,all pushing and wanting “that spot”. In Oz we don’t have that issue at the moment but with Charly, you have the freedom to move, not to be pressed, kicked, pushed, sworn out with camera rage.With Charly you have time and you will be blown away with the day:)

I don’t know Charlie very well but I do know a good man with a good heart when I see one and Charly Moore is one such person.

I cant thank Charly enough for giving this one Aussie and awesome time in Canyon.Overland Canyon Tours- Page Arizona

If you like what you see, then go to my tours page and join me on an amazing adventure this September with my American Photo workshop tour:)

‘Through him all things were made:without him nothing was made that has been made” John 1:3



Pete Dobré

Author Pete Dobré

Pete's photography is self taught. As a young child photography was an interest. His passion for the varying landscapes of Oz comes from frequent visits as a youngster, to his Gandparent's sheep farm in Barmera, a small country town in South Australia. Pete Dobré is a Freelance Photographer who blazes the trail for 6 months each year, capturing awe-inspiring images. Pete's work expresses his creative flair, emotions and love for the natural scapes of Australia. He remembers the hot day when he was 8, leaving town for the farm. His parents had an old car. Within about 2 kilometres of reaching the farm gate, they were bogged on a small red sand dune. The flies were buzzing continuously and the heat was beating down. Sticks, leaves and branches were wedged under the back tyres, to get the car moving. His mum was in a panic but Pete thought that it was exciting. From that moment he knew that he loved being out in creation, with the sense of adventure in the wild. This is where Pete's passion began. Photography for Pete is an expressive means for visual communication. He says, 'There is never a boring moment in my work. There is always something to photograph and I love being creative. The only limit to creativity is a lack of creativity.' Pete's aim as a photographer is to present images that provoke and stimulate the mind, to capture God's awesome creation and to share this with others. If Pete can do a little justice to God's creativity, then he is quietly satisfied. As a photographer Pete's inspiration and passion for his work comes from knowing God who created everything in the beginning. Knowing God, the Creator gives more substance and meaning to what he captures on film. Pete sees his role as freezing a moment in time and history which will never be repeated exactly the same again. The light, clouds and seasons will always be different. Pete's love for natural conditions at different times of the day, displaying varying moods and cloud formations makes his work very special and eye catching.

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