The Fort Collins forecast for Labor Day weekend was 100 degree temperatures, so I knew we would be getting out of town for a backpacking trip. This time we had company- our friends the Liprandis decided to join us. It was a fun trip, a circumambulation of Browns Peak in the Snowy Range of southern Wyoming. Three days to make a loop around the mountain, through a mix of alpine and subalpine terrain, and alongside countless small ponds and creeks. On the middle day, Eric and I bushwhacked up to the summit of Browns Peak. Finding the actual summit was hard to do as the top was a windy plateau. Even with the winds on the summit, a smoky haze from wildfires in Colorado hung in the air as we tried three different spots that seemed to be the highest point. Off in the distance, Medicine Bow Peak rose above the plateau. Looking close enough to touch, the two mountains are actually separated by The Gap, a pass we would carry our backpacks through later in the day. I took some pictures of the peak, and this became my favorite image of the week.
View from the Summit Plateau of Browns Peak
Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 33 mm, f/9 at 1/120, ISO 200
Digital Darkroom. I made an aborted attempt to cut the haze and sharpen this image. I then realized I was going about it all wrong- this particular image was smoky and hazy, and rather than fighting it I should go with it. Undoing my changes, I went with the Classic Chrome emulation. Designed to look like the venerable Kodachrome, this emulation presents a more subtle color palette. I nudged up the exposure and increased contrast by just a little bit. I liked the hazy mountain, but not the hazy foreground, so I used a graduated filter to increase dehaze on the foreground by +27. This was quite a change; usually I use dehaze on backgrounds and skies. Finally, I painted a couple of the foreground rocks to lower highlights and take away the glare.
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.