Paydirt! Eerie Photo Taken on Navajo Nation Brings Record-Setting Price

An image featuring an unusual swirl of dust in a photogenic location has netted photographer Peter Lik an eye-popping sum.
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A famous photograph shot in Antelope Canyon, located in the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation, has drawn the eye-popping price of $6.5 million, the highest sum ever paid for a photograph.

The image, "Phantom," was taken by Australian-born fine art photographer Peter Lik, and the buyer's identity has not been revealed. The same person or persons also bought two other Lik photos, "Illusion" and "Eternal Moods", for $2.4 million and $1.1 million, respectively. The sales, announced yesterday, give Lik four spots in the list of top 20 most expensive photographs ever sold, according to a press relase.

With shafts of light descending through its deep, narrow crevasse, Antelope Canyon is a popular location for photographers (as Jonathan Jones points out in a scathing condemnation of the sale in The Guardian), but the ghostlike figure painted by swirling dust in Lik's photo is uncommon, to say the least.

The version that sold for the whopping sum is in black and white; below is a color version of it (titled "Ghost") from the galleries on his official site.

'Ghost' copyright Peter Lik