Farthest explored

Hey guys - I admit that I’m posting this here because there are so many directions a person could take with processing. This time of year the ice and snow are mostly gone and the rivers and creeks are running high (although in some place the banks had been over run by as much as 10 feet!). This is one of my favorites - Ripley Creek and this is a shot from as far upstream as I was comfortably able to get. After the trail ends one side is basically an over grown boulder field that would be enough as an ankle breaker, but also has its fair share of fallen trees. The other side continues from the trail in a more open way, but then a snarl of deadfall blocked me. Since I was losing the light I didn’t climb the hill to the back of a field to see if I could come back down to the brook in a more open area, but maybe I can try that next time. As far as I know, the Ice Age Trail Alliance has a back-of-the-napkin plan to extend the trail segment further and it may come close to the creek again since the trail terminus is basically at its headwaters.

But anyway…show me what you can do with this. I’m really curious to see what interpretations come to the fore.

My Ripley Creek Album is here if you’re curious - https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5GEp8g

Raw File

Kristen_SmithApril 23, 2023P1113444.dng (16.5 MB)

You may only download this file to demonstrate how you would process the image. The file is Copyright of the photographer, and you must delete the raw file when you are done. Please post a jpg of what you created, along with an explanation of what you did and why you did it.

My Edit (click to see)

Hi Kris,

This was a fun one to play around with. I started out in color, but decided, like you, that B&W was a better bet.

I first brought the raw file into DXO PhotoLab to get the benefit of their lens sharpening technology and the DeepPrime XD noise reduction. I know you shot it at low ISO, but it still can benefit…

Then I brought it into Capture One, did some basic adjustments, and hit it with the B&W tool.

I then did a few local adjustments with linear and circular gradients on layers…seasoning to taste.

I also brushed in a highlights recover in the white water, and brushed in a bit of detail (clarity) in the foreground water.

I finished up with some healing/cloning and a small crop on the right.

Anyway, here’s what I came up with. A bit more traditional compared to your more moody version.


Hey thanks @David_Bostock - there is so little color this time of year that I fear a B&W is inevitable. I experimented with this one by going darker and leaving only smaller light areas to draw attention. Your version has a much more open feel.