Over 160 million years ago, what is now the Colorado Plateau was once blanketed by a Sahara-like desert. The canyons formed over millions of years as cracks in the earth were gouged out by water and debris from thunderstorms and flash floods. The resulting canyons today have swirling, convoluted canyon walls, sometimes only a few feet wide and sometimes a hundred feet or more in depth.
Slot canyons can be deadly. Even with clear skies above, flash floods from thunderstorms many miles upstream can quickly inundate the canyons. Many have perished as a result of distant thunderstorms.
As a photographer, I find the slot canyons very appealing. That the very walls I am touching date back over 100 million years, I find mind boggling. That there is inherit danger of flash floods or stepping into bottomless potholes adds adventure as well.
These canyons evoke a spiritual sense in me. Within them I feel at one with the earth. The light, which can change quickly, can be magical although sometimes dim, requiring long exposures. A quietness prevails. Form and texture are endless as are compositional possibilities. I like that a viewer of slot canyon photographs often has no idea as to the scale of the subject. And finally, I am often amused by other photographers who can't understand why I photograph in black and white as the colors indeed are lovely. To them I just smile and thank them for their comments.