Lees Ferry – Ready for Departure (Arizona)

The Lees Ferry is a unique and historic site in Arizona, near Utah’s border.

These days it is the most popular spot for the departure of Colorado River and Grand Canyon multi-day rafting tours. The most extended tour lasts almost for 2 weeks.

I took the feature photo approximately one hour before the rafting tour departure when the guides were still loading the boats.

Lees Ferry – Ready for Departure (Arizona) 1
Arizona. Lees Ferry
Loc: 36.857246, -111.602352


The day I visited the Lees Ferry, I spent the entire day hiking around the Marble Canyon. I had the camera and only one lens with me (Sony 16-70). When I reached the Lee Ferry, I realized that the scene was too wide, and I wished I had my 10-18mm lens with me.

I had to improvise. I took two shots and merged them into a vertical panorama later in Lightroom.

Camera: Sony a6000
Lens: Sony 16-70
Focal Length: 16mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
ISO: 100
Aperture: F/8
Shutter Speed: 1/320s
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442

Editing & Processing

It was single RAW processing workflow.

Lightroom (90%)

First, I used Merge to Panorama module of Lightroom to combine 2 images into a vertical panorama.

Next, I used the standard Lightroom Rapid Editing workflow.

I started with Shark Cove preset from my Landscape  Collection.  Then I used TOOLKIT to open up the shadows in the foreground and boost the Contrast.

The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: Shark Cove (1, 9, 13, 16, 31)

Photoshop (10%)

First, I used the Spot Healing Brush to clean up the graffiti on the asphalt and then I boost the details and reduced noise.
Plugins: DeNoise (noise reduction), Topaz Detail (local contrast boost).

Total Time: 18min

Before & After Transformation

Archiving: I save all my photos as JPEG (quality: 100%) at full resolution and with the help of the Lightroom plugin, I synchronized them with my portfolio on SmugMug for safekeeping, sharing, image hosting and online sales.

Do not forget that my FREE Lightroom Preset Collection is always free for all subscribers to my newsletter.

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.

2 thoughts on “Lees Ferry – Ready for Departure (Arizona)”

  1. Why did you feel the need for noise reduction?? At ISO 100, that body & lens should have been fine

    • photo editing always produces some digital noise. I run a noise reduction on all my images.


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