Thanks to COVID-19, it had been two years since my last backpack with my friend Jon Bassett. I think he decided to make up for it by planning a trip that was twice as hard as usual. The second day of the trip had us climbing steeply out of Cook Lake and up and over Windy Peak. There was no trail, but after climbing up a ridge it was fairly self-explanatory. Wildflowers were everywhere, but unfortunately so was smoke from wildfires in Idaho and California. Mountain vistas were obscured with a thick haze. Nevertheless, there was still beauty to be found, and this photo of flowers in front of August 16th Peak became my favorite image of the week.

August 16th Peak from Windy Mountain

Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS at 55mm, f/16 at 1/60, ISO 320

Our backpack went from Saturday-Tuesday, so another WIRR based on this trip will be highlighted in a future post.

Digital Darkroom. The light conditions were “challenging,” and that’s putting it lightly. I decided to lean into the smoky air. I lowered clarity by -26 to make it even more hazy. I did use Velvia to add more color for the flowers. I then pulled up a graduated filter over the foreground. I increased exposure by half a stop, boosted highlights, shadows, and whites. Finally, I increased clarity by 34. The goal was to emphasize the bright, clear foreground and the dull hazy background. I finished processing by adding a slight vignette.

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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