WIRR 2020, October Week 1

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This weekend we got lucky, and a change in the winds restored healthy air to the Colorado Front Range. Nate’s friend Andrew was supposed to go on a five-mile hike for a Boy Scout merit badge, and the two of us joined him and his Dad.

Our planned hike was up the Dunraven valley, but when we got there the parking lots signs said it was closed due to the fires. While there were no traces of fire, a quick glance at the map showed that it wasn’t far from the other side of the ridge. We drove back to Glen Haven, and the Crozier Mountain trailhead. The day started off beautiful, but we could see the clouds rolling in across the valley. Actually, we thought they were smoke clouds, so when it started to rain it was actually a relief. It was hard to be too upset when the temperatures dropped ten degrees and the drizzle mixed with snow. It was uncomfortable for hiking, but this area needs all of the rain, snow, and cold temperatures we can get.

We made it to the summit, and on the return trip hiked through a big open valley. Aspens outlined the meadow, and this shot looking up into Rocky Mountain National Park became my favorite image of the week.

Aspens in Glen Haven Valley

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 18mm, f/8 at 1/30, ISO 400

What a difference a week makes. The rain and snow was wonderful, but not enough. As I write this post, the mountains in the background of this photo are burning in the Cameron Peak Fire. The entire valley has been evacuated, and all of the trails are closed. In fact, the closure order for our hiking trail was issued as we were hiking it.

Digital Darkroom. I started processing by using the Fujifilm Velvia film emulation to bring out the bright colors. I increased global contrast on the image by +11. I then used a graduated filter on the sky to lower exposure, highlights. I also lowered dehaze to help increase the haziness of the clouds surrounding the peaks. I brushed over the aspens, increasing clarity by +27. The sharpness of the yellow leaves contrasted against the soft blue-grays of the clouds are what draw me to the image (and to the view in real life).

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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