It was the morning of our fifth day in Capitol Reef National Park, and it was time to go. Doug and I quickly broke camp and hiked the mile out to our cars for breakfast. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways home. From the trailhead, Doug went west back to California and I turned east, bound for Colorado. I was in no mood to rush, so I stopped frequently to take photographs. This early in the morning, there were no cars around, so when I reached the switchbacks of Burr Trail Road, I just stopped in the middle of the road and made an image of the switchbacks, the edge of the Waterpocket Fold, and the Henry Mountains in the distance. This became my favorite image of the week.

Morning on Burr Trail Road, Capitol Reef National Park

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 18mm, f/8 at 1/170, ISO 200

Wait- what happened to May Week 2? I was on vacation that week, and still have a large collection of images to work through. Rather than wait a backlog of posts to accumulate, I’m going to continue ahead and come back to that week when my editing is complete.

Digital Darkroom.

I had a lot of fun working on this image. First, using the Fujifilm Velvia emulation was a no-brainer. Velvia is made for red rock canyon country. Correcting the exposure was the hardest part; the original image was overexposed, with bright glare on the foreground rocks and a washed out sky, both drawing attention away from the rocks of the Waterpocket Fold in the center. Since I wanted the focus on the rocks, I actually started by raising the exposure of the entire image by half a stop. I increased contrast, lowered highlights, and raised shadows and texture. Now the center of the photo was perfect. To fix the foreground, I dragged a graduated filter up from the bottom, lowering exposure and highlights. No more bright spots to draw your eye away from the center. For the background, I used another graduated filter from the top. For this one I lowered the exposure by a full stop, highlights by 53, and added some dehaze. A small erasure removed the changes from the tops of the Fold. I ended by warming up the image and applying some basic sharpening.

Here’s the original photo, without any post-processing:

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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