There are some weeks when I don’t shoot a lot of pictures, or when my best of the week is, charitably, “meh.” This was not one of those weeks.

Nate and I took advantage of his October break to visit my parents in New Hampshire. It was a short trip, but we went for a hike with my Dad at the Flume in Franconia Notch State Park and visited the New Hampshire seacoast with both of my parents the next day. I ended up with three images that I would happy to call my best of the week.

It was a hard decision, but I gave the nod to an image of Table Rock at the Flume. Table Rock is a big slab of granite, measuring roughly 500 feet by 75 feet. Flume brook has scoured off all the soil on top, leaving a big wet slab. I stabilized my camera on a railing and took a few shots, but I had low expectations. In fact, my Dad and I shook our heads at a collection of Asian tourists getting out massive tripods.

When I saw the resulting images, my initial response was to shrug and move on to the next image. But I liked the water and the pattern, and I kept coming back. Finally I decided to edit the image, just crank everything to 11, and see how it ended up. More details are in the Digital Darkroom section below, and this became my favorite image of the week.

Cascade in Sunlight

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 37mm, f/22 at 0.5 seconds, ISO 100.

Digital Darkroom. Almost always, the first step in turning a photo “up to 11” is to use the Fujifilm Velvia RAW emulation. That was a good start, and showed me that colors were available to work with, colors that I further boosted by adding saturation. I increased contrast and lowered blacks and shadows (again to increase contrast). I wanted the white water to really stand out, so I boosted whites +26, but had a lot of glare, so lowered highlights (-71!). Boosting dehaze to +27 brought out still more contrast. I actually lowered clarity to help smooth out the water. Finally, one bright spot in the upper half of the image was distracting, so I used a brush to lower the exposure to bring it back in line with the rest. A smorgasbord of edits to turn a rather bland capture into a bright colorful abstract. It’s also a reminder that images are created, not taken.

Here’s the original photo, in case you are curious:

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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