Photographer Christopher Eaton (Pinyon Ridge Photography) takes beautiful and otherworldly shots of the most-visited and most-photographed collection of slot canyons in the American Southwest. These include Antelope Canyon and the nearby Canyon X.
Located in Arizona, these deep and narrow landforms have been carved over millions of years. Namely as a result of flash floods, rushing water has eroded the stone into one-of-a-kind formations with smooth and sweeping contours. “Though these slot canyons are carved into many different geological layers of sandstone and limestone,” Eaton explains, “it is the Navajo sandstone, formed from the petrified sand dunes of a large Jurassic desert similar to the Sahara Desert of today, that often become the richest canvas for the flash floods to carve their masterpieces through. These canyons become otherworldly sculptures of stone that slowly evolve over time.”
In his collection of canyon photographs, Eaton captures the configurations from creative angles and during different times of day. In some images, stars are shown sparkling above the cracks; in others, a beam of sunlight shines through the out-of-frame narrow ruptures. This luminous phenomenon is particularly inspiring to Eaton. “Deep in the lower slot of Canyon X, the sun only penetrates to the canyon floor for an exceptionally brief period around the Summer Solstice,” he describes. “A beam of light appears and disappears several time as the sun moves across the sky. Its last hurrah can be seen in a distant room through a low arch in the canyon's wall.” This varied approach to capturing the canyons culminates in a body of work that illustrates the rich diversity and beautiful scenery found in the popular sites.