Burned Tree at the Bryce Canyon (Utah)

The featured photo fully reflects my latest photography trip to the Southwest I completed last week. I spent two weeks driving through Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California, completing 5500km and camping in the most beautiful and spectacular locations.

I brought in total 4200 brand new photos. After importing them to Lightroom and sorting them I have 500 keepers, the photos I will use in my portfolio and publish on my blog.

It was challenging to select the very first photo for publishing out of 500. But the featured photo I took while hiking at the bottom of the Bryce Canyon was a definite winner. It represents constant changes in weather, colors, and landscapes you experience while traveling through the midlands of Arizona and Utah.

Burned Tree at the Bryce Canyon (Utah) 1
Bryce Canyon. Utah.
Loc: 37.626542, -112.159870


The shooting was easy. Because it was a daylong hike through the Bryce Canyon, I did not bring the tripod with me, and the 400 photos I took that day were handheld.

Related: Visiting Bryce Canyon: The Best Things To Do

Also, the rain started at least 10 times during the hike and I kept the only weather-sealed lens I had (Fujinon 18-135) attached to my camera. It was kind of liberating not thinking what lens to use and if I needed a tripod.

Editing & Processing

It was a single RAW processing workflow. 

Lightroom (50%)

I kept the original aspect ratio (3 x 2) and the composition did not require any cropping.

Next, I used the Natural preset from my Landscape Preset Collection as the base for Lightroom Rapid Editing. Then I used TOOLKIT to boost the Contrast and the Clarity.

The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: Natural (10, 12, 24, 32, 34)

Photoshop (50%)

In Photoshop, all I had to do was to boost details and reduce digital noise.

Plugins: DeNoise (noise reduction), Topaz Detail (local contrast boost).

Total Time: 10min

Before & After Transformation

by Viktor Elizarov
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.