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We stopped along Highway 163 as it entered the North end of Monument Valley in Southern Utah, to look at some stunning folding in the tortured landsacpe charactersitic of the area about a mile East of the highway. We had been experiencing clouds that provided only occasional shafts of light to illuminate the landscape. I waited for this patch of sun to drift over to this spot before taking the shot. The result was an abstract landscape that I felt captured the harshness of the land in this part of the world. - JW

Date Taken: 2017-05-12

Tech Details:

Taken using a hand-held Nikon D7100 fitted with a Nikkor 70-300mm VR lense set to 200mm, ISO400, Auto WB, Aperture priority mode,f/7.1, 1/640 sec. PP in free Open Source RAWTherapee from Nikon RAW/NEF source file: scale image to 9000x6000, crop off the bottom portion of the image to eliminate power lines, set exposure to 2/3 stop above as-shot, increase contrast and Chromaticity in L-A-B mode, increase vibrance slightly, slightly increase the colour temperature (warmer), sharpen, save. PP in free Open Source GIMP: adjust the tone curve to pull up/brighten the mid-tones and then darken the bottom end of the curve by pulling the tone curve dow at about 10% in from the left edge, adjust the colour balance to remove an excessive red cast by adding cyan, duplicate the image to a new layer and then duplicate it again, use the threshold tool to isolate the brightest area of the image and then use that as a mask on the layer below (after adding a layer mask to that layer), then adjust the image portion of that layer to get a good representation and brightness of the brightest area without impacting the main portion (darker areas) of the image, create a new working layer from the visible result, tweak contrast and brightness slightly to optimize the ‘look’ of the image, sharpen, save, scale image to 6000 wide, sharpen slightly, add fine black-and-white frame, add bar and text on left, save, scale image to 2400 wide for posting, sharpen slightly, save.

Tags:   Utah landscape Highway 163 Monument Valley folding sunbeam desolate Southwest Open Source RAWTherapee GIMP Nikon D7100 Nikkor 70-300mm VR

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