Colors of the Canyon

Here's one of my other photos I took the last time I was at the Grand Canyon — the other one I've shown is the “Sunset Flames“. This particular photo was taken minutes before the flames picture while the sun was still partly above the horizon. I thought it was interesting how the face of the cliff lit up the way it did. I was also pretty impressed with the clouds in the sky and the way they were reflecting the light and color.

Colors of the Canyon Post-Processing

  1. In-Camera JPEG
    It actually looked alright, but I knew there was more color in those clouds.
  2. Processed RAW
    Warmed it up a bit, brought back the color in the sky, and I opted for less contrast to start with. I also cropped out some of the foreground and put the horizon right in the middle of the frame. Good idea? Bad Idea? What do you think?
  3. B&W Conversion
    I've heard this mentioned a few times, so I thought I'd try it out. I converted to B&W using an adjustment layer with the intent of processing the photo for tone and contrast before bringing the color back in.
  4. Overall Curves Adjustment
    Just a typical “S” curve for more contrast.
  5. Targeted Curves Adjustment
    I pulled the curve down and to the right to darken the photo. Then I masked out the lower half of the photo so it would only have an effect on the sky.
  6. Remove B&W Conversion
    Since I used an adjustment layer, I just turned it off.
  7. Dodging and Burning
    I did a bunch of little adjustments by dodging and burning various places throughout the image.
  8. Sharpening
    Unsharp Mask at 90%, 1.5 pixels, and a threshold of 1.

Colors of the Canyon

** You can also see this photo on Flickr and Zooomr **

Photo by Brian Auer
07/13/07 Grand Canyon
Colors of the Canyon
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM
15mm equiv * f/4 * 1/45s * ISO100