Friday
Jun012018

WIRR 2018, April Week 5

Over the weekend, our family rode our bicycles to Old Town for lunch and a visit to the Fort Collins Museum of Art. As we rode home on the Spring Creek trail, we stopped to watch an American White Pelican fishing in a pond. Just after that, we saw some people clustered at the side of the trail. This isn’t the first time I noticed this, but this time I stopped to see what everyone was looking at. It was a group of four fox cubs sitting just outside their den. The den was very close to the trail, maybe ten feet. The cubs were just hanging out and watching the people taking their portraits with camera phones.

Two days later I went back. I brought with me my old Canon 7D, with my 100-300 zoom lens attached. There was only one cub this time, but he patiently watched as I shot fifty images or so. This one became my favorite image of the week.

Fox Cub

Canon 7D, Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM, f/5.6 at 1/1000, ISO 1600.

Digital Darkroom. Let me get this over with- the Canon, a much older camera, is not nearly as good at higher ISOs as my Fujifilm. In addition, the 100-300 zoom is a consumer-grade lens that is the least quality lens in my quiver. Finally, I had to crop this image significantly to fill the frame. The results looked great on Instagram, ok here, and clearly soft and muddled when printed. Time to start saving pennies for a higher-quality Fuji telephoto. In addition to the crop, I also cloned out a mousetrap in the lower right foreground. The trap was empty; the best guess is that Momma Fox found it with a mouse in it and brought it back for the cubs to eat. Other darkroom adjustments were to increase exposure by half of a stop, contrast, vibrance, and oh yes, sharpening. 

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.

 

Thursday
May312018

Le Grand Voyage — Day 26

We started the day by searching for canoe outfitters, attempting to rent a canoe to float the Loire. Regrettably, they were full for the day. But the search was an interesting walk to an island in the river, and we met an interesting character who only spoke French and whose every third word was "Voila!”, always made with an elaborate gesture.

After breakfast we walked to Château du Clos Lucé. This was a small château in town with one claim to fame- for the last years of his life, it was home to Leonardo de Vinci. Once you get past a few bedrooms and the like, the rest of the place is a Leonardo museum. 

The displays, some interactive, describe the many inventions he came up with in his lifetime. There's the famous wingsuit of course, but also a tank, bridges, weapons, and devices to move water. It was all very impressive. The gardens were even better, with life-size models scattered around the wooded grounds. Also mixed in was playground equipment, which Nate quite enjoyed. Although very hot, it was a fun low-key day.

Dinner at the Terrace restaurant was delightful. It was a shaded outdoor terrace on the roof of a building next to the castle. I started with giant prawns before moving on to steak. 

I had two courses at the end, a cheese plate of local cheeses, and my best crème brûlée in France. And of course, all of it was washed down with a local vintage. 

 

Sunday
May272018

WIRR 2018, April Week 4

I like the geometry present in this image — the four bands of increasing brightness that radiate out from the lower right-hand corner, offset with the white circular light and the starkly edged numbers. It was a shot on a walk around Fort Collins and became my favorite image of the week.

244

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro, f/2.8 at 1/680, ISO 200.

Digital Darkroom. I started with a black-and-white conversion using the Fujifilm Acros emulation. From there, I increased the exposure by almost a stop, tweaked contrast and whites up, and pumped up the clarity. 

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.

 

Saturday
May262018

WIRR 2018, April Week 3

Sometimes you just get lucky. We were in Boulder in take my cousin Laura out to dinner for her birthday. It had been raining that day, and after dinner the clouds around the mountain finally broke. This became my favorite image of the week.

Dusk in Boulder

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 50.5 mm, f/8 at 1/125, ISO 200.

Digital Darkroom. I started by eliminating some distractions in the foreground by cropping, and then removing a number of building lights. After that, my job was to emphasize the fog and light, which I did by adjusting exposure, contrast, whites, and dehaze.

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.

 

Saturday
May192018

WIRR 2018, April Week 2

I’ve mentioned this many times before, but Joshua Tree National Park might be my favorite place on earth. I love the dryness, the desolation, the loneliness, and the surprises that are everywhere if you take the time to look. This year’s backpacking trip was with my friend Doug Morganthaler. We had a great three days exploring the area around Juniper Flats, Quail Mountain, and Lost Horse Valley. I published a number of images on my Instagram feed, and it was hard to pick my favorite. I went with a subtle landscape shot that I made on our final morning. 

Our campsite in Juniper Flats was perched at the base of a hill of granite rocks. When I first camped there in March of 2008, we jokingly referred to it as the Pile… Of Rocks, with a noticeable pause at the end of pile and a heavy stress on the final two words. This year we camped there because it helped block the strong winds on the first day. On our final morning, puffs of cotton filled the sky next to the Pile… Of Rocks and it became my favorite image of the week.

Morning Clouds

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 18mm, f/22 at 1/60, ISO 640.

Digital Darkroom. My Fuji XT-2 supports a number of different film emulations. These are carefully formulated algorithms that apply color palettes to give the resulting digital images the look of classic film types. These can be applied in-camera to create jpgs, or applied to RAW files in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Typically, I use the emulation for Fujichrome Velvia, which was my favorite slide film during the 1990s. For this image, I settled on the Classic Chrome emulation. Unlike most of the emulations, this one does not try to emulate a Fujifilm file type. Instead, it opts for the subtle color palette and low contrast of that venerable classic, Kodachrome

Once I made the decision on which film emulation to use, the rest of the editing processing was pretty light. I increased exposure by about half a stop, did the same for shadows, and nudged up the clarity slider.

To illustrate the difference between the different film emulations, here is the same photo using Fujifilm’s color default, Provia.

and here’s how it looks using my usual favorite, Fujifilm Velvia.

Apologies for the lateness of this post. I had a lot of images from Joshua Tree to edit and process. I should start catching up now.

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.