WIRR 2019, March Week 1

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Winter is always a busy time at work and at home. From ski trips to conferences, I’m always running around crazy. The traditional climax to the crazy is the Esri Developer Summit in Palm Springs, California. And one way I celebrate the end is by taking a backpacking trip in Joshua Tree National Park afterwards.

The first day of the backpack was a little rough. After caching cars and extra water bottles along our route, we started on the Indian Cove trail. This trail starts down in the valley of Twentynine Palms and climbs over a thousand feet up into the Wonderland of Rocks. On top of everything else, I had spent the previous night having “too much fun”, so I wasn’t feeling my best.

The climb starts off as a gradual incline across an open plain, and then turns up into something of a canyon as it steepens. The rocks get weirder, the cactus get more varied, and the view gets better the farther you climb. We finally reached the top and found a great campsite. We barely had time to set up tents and cook dinner before the sun started to drop. As the cold descended (we had frost every night), I took a few images of the Joshua trees in camp, and this became my favorite image of the week.

Joshua Tree at Dusk

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 28mm, f/7.1 at 1/90, ISO 200.

Digital Darkroom. This image was taken in the evening, as the light began to fail. But the first thing I did was to drop the exposure by half a stop to bring out more color in the sun-painted rocks of the background. I compensated by boosting shadows by the same amount to bring back the detail in the foreground. This still wasn’t quite enough though. I took a brush and painted both of the Joshua Trees, raising exposure and shadows by another half stop each. That brightened the trees, and was much closer to what I saw in real life; the human eye has much more dynamic range than a camera sensor.

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.