Friday
Jun222018

Le Grand Voyage — Day 27

Today was mainly a travel day.  There was more to see in Amboise, but the hot weather was forecasted to get 10 degrees hotter.  Brittany was supposed to be considerably cooler, so that made the decision to leave much easier.  Dorinna had found a non-tourist bakery on a solo walk, so we stopped there for breakfast as well as take-out lunch and pastries.

We ended up having those take-out pastries at a roadside rest stop.  Great little stop- a shady picnic on the grass, followed by playing on a playground and walking on a nature trail.  Not bad for a highway rest stop.

The hardest part of the day was navigating the narrow alleys of our destination, Hôtel du Louvre in the walled city of Saint-Malo (pronounced "Sa-ma-lo").  The streets were cobblestones, with slot canyon walls.  As we unloaded the luggage at the hotel, the only rude man in France threatened to smash our car.  Lovely.

With the car then safely parked outside the city walls, we relaxed a little before venturing out. We started to explore the city's ramparts- you can walk on the walls of the walled city almost entirely around the town.  We came down for a drink, and then found a creperie for dinner.  Brittany is home to crepes and cider, and I had both.  My gallette had mushroom, cheese, egg, and andouille sausage (like the cajun sausage you get in America, only less spicy).  I washed it down with calvados- an apple whiskey.  



After dinner we walked along the walls once more.  On this side of the city we looked out on the English Channel as the sun started to set.


Thursday
Jun212018

WIRR 2018, June Week 2

This was a busy day at work and I didn’t make myself many opportunities for photography. When we got some rain over Father’s day, I headed outside with the tripod to shoot flowers in the front yard. This shot became my favorite image of the week.

Flower in the Rain

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro, f/8 at 1/60, ISO 250.

Digital Darkroom. I started to develop this by nudging the exposure down, then plunged the blacks further. I increased saturation and contrast. I decreased overall clarity by -38, then added a brush across the entire flower to increase clarity. The result was to soften the background leaves while keeping the flower sharp. With another brush I darkened the stamen on the lower left, helping it stand out more. Two more small brushes lowered exposure on two leaves and removed some distracting glare. With all of the typical edits out of the way, I went into the Stackables app to add some texture, and the PhotoToaster app to add a fun border.

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.

Sunday
Jun172018

WIRR 2018, June Week 1

For the last few months, construction companies have been busy building The Exchange a block away from my office in Fort Collins. The website describes the complex as “The inviting open-air central plaza is canopied with strings of lights and community-style picnic tables surrounded by inspired cuisine, craft cocktails and beer served via Shipping Container Cars.” While the central plaza is still closed for construction, I’ve walked around the perimeter and I have to say… it actually kind of works. One thing I liked about the place is that they’ve obviously invested some time and energy in whimsical street art. On one of my afternoon walks, I came across this strange little guy, and it became my favorite image of the week.

Psychic Mystical Raccoon King Drain Spout

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 27mm, f/5.6 at 1/140, ISO 200.

Digital Darkroom. I made lots of small adjustments to this image. After nudging the exposure up, I blasted contrast (+47) and whites (+39). I plunged blacks (-60) and gave a big pop to clarity (+24). I tampered with the black and white luminance mix as well to get the right amount of texture. I added a brush to the metal plate in the foreground to slam more clarity (+64) for more of it. I wrapped it up with a -20 vignette.

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
Jun152018

WIRR 2018, May Week 4

Lory State Park is perched above Fort Collins to the west. Every weekend day, throngs of people hike the Arthur’s Rock trail to a small prominence with spectacular views of Fort Collins. A multitude of mountain bikes ride the East and West Valley trails. My favorite, away from the crowds, are a set of lesser known and much less used hiking trails. These trails lead to six backcountry camping sites. We spent part of Memorial Day weekend camped at one of these. The sites are quite unique; from them we could hear the horn blasts of the trains running through town, and watch the lightning dance across the High Plains. The following morning we did the obligatory climb of Arthur’s Rock, and on the way back down I was able to take a few pictures. The skies were overcast, giving a soft even light for wildflower photos. When I saw this bright orange Wallflower in front of a mass of dead gray twigs, I knew I had something. This became my favorite image of the week.

Wallflower

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro, f/9 at 1/50, ISO 250.

Digital Darkroom. Exposure +0.22, Contrast +10. Done.

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.

 

Wednesday
Jun062018

WIRR 2018, May Week 3

When guests from the east coast come to visit us in Colorado, I always warn them that Colorado is flat and brown. Most of eastern Colorado, the part you see when you fly in, is flat, and most of the year Colorado is brown and arid. The exception is the month of May, when the Front Range shines with verdant shades of green. I took my guests on a hike up to Horsetooth Rock and enjoyed a view of the Rocky Mountain National Park in the distance. This became my favorite image of the week.

View from Horsetooth Rock

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 30mm, f/8 at 1/350, ISO 200.

Digital Darkroom. This image was shot in the middle of the day, probably the worst time for landscape photography. After straightening the crooked sky and setting the film emulation to Velvia, I went to work. For the overall image, I raised the exposure and contrast (+68!). I thought the rock looked too dark, so I used a brush to increase exposure and shadows, and added more clarity to increase the texture. Finally, I dragged down a graduated filter over the sky to increase clarity and dehaze.

The original RAW image is 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.