This weekend our family went on a backpacking trip in Cameron Pass.  We were afraid that higher elevations would still be snow-covered, so we kept to a lower trail, Big South.  The Big South trail follows the Poudre River after it breaks away from the highway.  Swollen with snowmelt, the river was a raging roaring monster of foam.  We found a nice site three miles in, about a mile before another swollen stream blocked the trail.  On the hike out, we stopped in a shady spot and I got out the camera gear.  The photo that resulted was my favorite image of the week:


Poudre River

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at  55mm, f/20 at 26 seconds; ISO 200.

In the Field.  Blurring the water was done in-camera with a super long exposure.  In front of the lens I mounted a two-stop neutral density filter, which reduced the light by a factor of 4.  On top of that, I screwed on my Singh-Ray Vari-ND Neutral Density filter.  I cranked it up to reduce the light by another 8-stops (256x less light).  This allowed me to take a 26 second exposure in the middle of the day.   Of course, it took lots of trial and error to find the exposure setting I liked the best.  The camera was mounted on my tripod with a cable release used to control the exposure.  I made another happy discovery with my Fujifilm X-T2– with the exposure set to bulb, the viewfinder remains bright enough to compose correctly.

Digital Darkroom.  Silver Efex Pro was used to do the black and white conversion.  I boosted the structure and contrast in that software.  Back in Lightroom, I further boosted clarity and exposure.  This really helped bring out the texture in the water, giving it movement instead of the illusion of placidity.  I liked the brightness of the water, but the rocks on the top of the image were too dark, so I dragged down a graduated filter to compensate.

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.


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