Essence And Substance
While photographing Upper Antelope Canyon, near Page, Arizona, I witnessed this scene where the essence of light and space dominate, coupled with the substance of rock and wood. During certain times of day and year, the sun will position itself directly over the narrow and deep gap of this canyon allowing sunbeams accented by dust to occasionally shine through. During other times of the year, flash floods during Arizona’s monsoon season sometimes causes this canyon to flash flood, and deposit debris in the most unlikely of places, as seen here. This is an Arizona icon and heavily photographed, but often the wind above does not force dust into the canyon as the sunbeams shine through, so most Navajo guides will throw sand into the air to make the sunbeam visible to visitors. That makes this a common scene, but the observant eye recognizes this trickery for those dust-beams can often look chunky, unbalanced, and not smokie-smooth, unlike this dust-beam, which is genuine.