Your Art Gallery is where visual artists are able to monetize their passion by selling prints to buyers and collectors online. In maintaining and growing this platform, we also get a front-row seat to the exciting excursions and newest work of emerging and seasoned photographers alike.

Case in point: Maria Ferrari’s recent trip to Antelope Canyon in northern Arizona. Let’s get the full story from Maria on this natural wonder and the surreal, abstract imagery to which it lent itself during her shoot.

What inspired you to visit Antelope Canyon?

I had been there many years ago when I was still shooting film. In those days, I brought a 4×5 folding camera with film holders and Polaroid film for testing and was able to only shoot a few select views as it is time consuming work to shoot large format. 

I was interested in returning to shoot digitally and wanted to get a fresh perspective of the canyon. The experience was much different. There used to be very few visitors to the canyon. Today, there are large groups with guides, and you have to move through quickly. Shooting digitally worked extremely well as I was able to isolate areas that were graphically interesting and could change camera settings easily.

How did you go about composing your shots?

The composition was definitely a challenge since the canyon is now full of visitors. It’s no longer a well-kept secret. I generally tried to avoid people and lagged behind most of the crowd. My goal was to compose abstract snippets where the light created interesting contours.

What connection did you feel to the landscape?

It is a surreal experience to be underground with just a sliver of light entering from above. I kept thinking about the conditions that created this magical, serene place. It really is a great force of nature that makes the swirls of rock, powerful rainstorms unleashing an explosive flow of rushing water that over time carved the stone into such playful forms.

Even today, tour guides keep an attentive eye on the sky, checking for storms in the distance. If anything appears to be threatening, they evacuate the canyon. The process of nature continues as the canyons still fill with raging water, continually evolving the walls.

Aside from the crowds, were there any other challenges to shooting in this environment?

It was quite challenging all around because the light changed dramatically from one area to another. Capturing proper white balance and good exposure consistently throughout the canyon takes constant vigilance.

What tips do you have for photographing a landscape like Antelope Canyon?

Be patient and watch the light. I do not recommend trying to change lenses; the dust from dry sand is in the air and can cause havoc if it gets onto the sensor. I also recommend good hiking boots!

What makes you choose Your Art Gallery to showcase your work?

Uploading images is a breeze. The interface is also user-friendly and simple to navigate. You can add keywords, sale prices, and it’s all right there in front of you.

What are you working on next?

I’d like to return out West to further explore some of the petroglyphs in the Utah area. I find them fascinating. Light is forever changing and some of them are etched into the patina of the stone walls. It’s very reflective. The primitive nature of a petroglyph is intriguing to me. Capturing an image of early manmade carvings and drawings, preserving it and giving someone an opportunity to hang it on their walls to appreciate daily maybe will give pause to our hurried techno-digital lives.

Wonderful work, Maria!

Collectors: You can browse and buy Maria Ferrari’s photos from Antelope Canyon here.