Saturday
Aug192017

WIRR 2017 July Week 3

“What time is it?”  My wife asked as we woke up in our tent.  We were camped above tree line near the American Lakes, in the Colorado State Forest.  The sun was still rising, and the day promised to be a good one. 

“Time to take pictures.” I replied.  Stopping only to grab the camera and tripod, I set out.  I spent the next hour and a half walking around the area.  I hiked from our camp near the outlet of the lakes up to Snow Lake, and looped around the American Lakes on the way back.  Although there were plenty of people camped nearby, I  saw only one photographer and two fishermen out of bed.  I shot various different subjects throughout the morning.  On the climb up to Snow Lake, I looked back the way I had come.  The light wasn’t too great, as I was shooting into the sun.  I decided to take advantage of that, though, and cranked the aperture down to f/22, causing the sun to turn into a starburst with some great lens flare.  The reflection of the sun in the lake, also with a starburst, made it all work, and turned this into my favorite image of the week.

 

Early Morning at American Lakes

 

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 29mm, f/22 at 1/60, ISO 400.

 

Digital Darkroom. Shooting into the sun results in an image that is underexposed and washed out.  Some worked needed to be done to bring this back to what I remember seeing when I pressed the shutter.  It took some time experimenting before I found the settings that worked.  First, I lowered highlights (-51), giving definition to the suns.  Increasing exposure (+1), contrast (+18) and clarity (+25) restored the light in the foreground to what I was expecting.  The mountains got a lot of snow this winter, and it melted late in the season.  The grass was a spectacular green, so I pumped up the saturation of that green to +70.  All of that left the foreground in great shape.  For the background, I dragged down a graduated filter, using the brush tool to fix the fact that the horizon line wasn’t perfectly straight.  For that filter, I lowed the exposure by almost another two stops, pumped up more contrast (+28) and increased the saturation (+37) to bring back the blue in the sky.   The original image appears below.

WIRR stands for Weekly Image Rich Ruh.  This regular feature on Das Has von Ruh will show and describe my favorite photo created during this weekly period. My weeks start on Mondays, as does the WIRR. I’m hoping to include commentary on the story, the setting, the specs, or the sentiments, depending on the circumstances.


Tuesday
Aug012017

WIRR 2017, July Week 2

On Saturday afternoon, the family went down to Horsetooth Reservoir to try out the inflatable kayak we had purchased last summer. The included foot-pump stopped working partway through the inflation process, but the craft was seaworthy enough for my wife and son to take their maiden voyage.  I paced them on the shoreline, coming across a stand of Cottonwood trees.  What made the stand unique was the high-water level of the reservoir.  The trees were completely submerged, and most were surrounded by people swimming and wading.  I found a tree without people nearby and took some shots.  I loved the soft colors- green from the reflections of the leaves in the water, yellow where the shallow water covered the sand underneath, and of course the blues from the sky.  This became my favorite image of the week.

 

Submerged

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at  39mm, f/5 at 1/6000, ISO 400.

 

Digital Darkroom.  My vision here involved a soft palette of hazy colors- impressionism.  I punched up the exposures, and surprisingly the contrast as well.  In the tone curve tool, I dramatically lowered the highlights a lot to take out the light reflections on the water, leaving me with relatively dull soft light.  I punched up the vibrance to emphasize the yelllows, greens, and blues.  Clarity is one of my favorite adjustments, and I often crank it pretty high.  This time I dropped it, aiming for soft, not sharp.  The results were good, but something else was needed.  I pulled up the PhotoToaster app and added a canvas-like texture.  Now I had what I was looking for.

 

WIRR stands for Weekly Image Rich Ruh.  This regular feature on Das Has von Ruh will show and describe my favorite photo created during this weekly period. My weeks start on Mondays, as does the WIRR. I’m hoping to include commentary on the story, the setting, the specs, or the sentiments, depending on the circumstances.

 

Monday
Jul312017

WIRR 2017, July Week 1

It was the second day of my backpack in the Rawah Wilderness (day one was the subject of last week’s WIRR).  By midday, I had finished the long hike to the creatively named Rawah Lake #1.  While I had hoped to camp higher, there was a lot more snow than expected, and with incoming storm clouds I set up camp here.  The hail, sleet and downpour came later in the afternoon as I day hiked to the creatively named Rawah Lake #2 and Rawah Lake #3.  Back in camp, I relaxed with a book, and then made dinner, just in time for a second storm.  This one passed quickly, and after finishing camp chores for the night, I walked down to the lakeshore and took some images of the fading evening light.  Relaxed and comfortable after my second day in the woods, this became my favorite image of the week.

Evening at Rawah Lake


Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 18mm, f/6.4 at 1/200, 1/50, and 1/800; ISO 400.

 

Digital Darkroom.  A close look at the technical data listed above reveals that this is an HDR image.  Three different exposures, each made on a tripod, are combined together to make a single image.  My preferred software for this is Photomatix.  You can make wild and fantastic images with this software, but I prefer to keep the effect more subtle and realistic. After the HDR conversion, I made small adjustments to exposure, contrast, clarity, vibrance and shadows.

 

WIRR stands for Weekly Image Rich Ruh.  This regular feature on Das Has von Ruh will show and describe my favorite photo created during this weekly period. My weeks start on Mondays, as does the WIRR. I’m hoping to include commentary on the story, the setting, the specs, or the sentiments, depending on the circumstances.

 

Friday
Jul142017

Photography, January 2017

A collection of photos from January 2017 that didn't fit in with other posts.

Window with Angles (Fort Collins, CO)

Ducts (Fort Collins, CO)

Lonely Shed (Centennial, WY)Eucalyptus (Redlands, CA)Palms at Sunrise (Redlands, CA)

Tracks and Mountains (Redlands, CA)California Sycamore #1California Sycamore #2

Thursday
Jul062017

WIRR 2017, June Week 4

I had just set out for a solo backpacking trip in the Rawah Wilderness of northern Colorado.  Thunder boomed overhead as the afternoon storms threatened, the clouds providing soft light to the landscape.  I was still fresh and not yet bothered by my heavy backpack.  The trail starts by crossing the valley of the Laramie River, and just before rising up from the valley floor it encounters a beaver pond.  On the opposite bank, orange trunks of lodgepole pines shoot skyward, proud giants oblivious to the fact that beetles killed them long ago.  I loved the reflection of these trees in the pond, and this became my favorite image of the week.

 

Lodgepole Reflections

 

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at  55 mm, f/9 at 1/60; ISO 400.

 

Digital Darkroom.  The most significant change here was the square crop.  The symmetry of the vertical lines was broken up by some shrubs, so this made the image much stronger.  The only other significant change was to use Touch Retouch to erase two distracting sticks in the foreground.

 

WIRR stands for Weekly Image Rich Ruh.  This regular feature on Das Has von Ruh will show and describe my favorite photo created during this weekly period. My weeks start on Mondays, as does the WIRR. I’m hoping to include commentary on the story, the setting, the specs, or the sentiments, depending on the circumstances.